TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama defensive end LaBryan Ray could finally return to the field on Saturday against Kentucky, per coach Nick Saban.
Ray has been out for the Crimson Tide’s last three contests with an elbow injury but has since returned to practice. According to Saban, whether he plays or not depends on the redshirt juniors confidence.
“He's practicing,” Saban said. “He's back to practicing. I think it's a matter of how confident he feels with it in terms of his ability to use it. And does he feel like he has enough strength to be able to go in there and play? Maybe there's some role we can play in a game, but it's going to be strictly up to how he feels.”
Ray started for Alabama in its first three games, recording 11 tackles and 0.5 sacks along with a quarterback hurry. Since hyperextending his elbow, Alabama’s defensive line has dealt with Ray’s absence well but is missing one of their veterans as far as quarterback pressure is concerned.
Saban reiterated that Ray has been cleared to play by the team’s medical staff but it is still up to Ray and if he feels comfortable enough to test his elbow in an actual game.
“We've kind of cleared him to sort of make progress as he can,” Saban said. “It's a different kind of injury, when you've got an elbow and you're a defensive lineman and you're using your hands every play, I think it takes time to get confidence in your ability to do that, when you've had that kind of injury.”