Nick Saban Offers Updates on Punting Situation, Injuries, and COVID-19 Testing

Tyler Martin

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama coach Nick Saban provided injuries update to two key contributors, defensive end LaBryan Ray and tight end Carl Tucker, during his weekly Wednesday night press conference.

Both, Ray and Tucker, missed the matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs last week due to a sprained elbow and pulled hamstring, respectively. 

"They're still questionable for the [Tennessee] game," Saban said.

Christian Barmore started on the defensive line in place of Ray, while Kendall Randolph saw more action due to Tucker being absent. 

Another player, who was out against the Bulldogs, was sophomore punter Ty Perine, who posted photos on social media of the game from the crowd. 

Saban commented on his absence and what he has been seeing from current starter, true walk-on freshman Sam Johnson, who is averaging 33.2 yards on 10 punts this season.  

Last year, Perine averaged 44.7 yards on 13 punts across the Crimson Tide's final six games. 

"Yeah, he wasn't dressed for the game," Saban said. "I don't think the punting has been what we'd hoped it would be. I think we have good competition at that position. Ty is one of those guys. So we're evaluating him on a weekly basis,. and if we feel somebody else can do a better job for us we'll certainly put them in there. But that's they have to earn that as well."

One final major update that Saban mentioned to reporters was on COVID-19 testing, and that only one player from his team has tested positive for the virus in the last two or three weeks. 

Unlike many other SEC programs, Alabama has not endured a severe outbreak causing postponements of any games to this point.

“No, we have only had one positive test, I think, in the last two or three weeks, so we haven’t had any issues -- knock on wood," Saban said. "Hopefully, guys will continue to manage their personal space and do the right things so that we can minimize that as much as we can.”

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