Sophomore linebacker Drew Sanders missed Alabama’s Week 6 matchup against Texas A&M due to a hand injury. After having minor surgery on the hand, the timetable for his return is unknown. We did, however, get an update from coach Nick Saban on Wednesday evening.
Apparently, Sanders will once again be out for this weekend’s road contest against Mississippi State.
“He’s not available this week,” Saban told reporters. “He’s out there in pads every day, but it’s not safe for him to use his hand yet. So he’s not going to play this week.”
With Sanders out once again, Alabama will likely turn to true freshman Dallas Turner for the second straight week. The former five-star played 38 of a possible 62 snaps opposite Will Anderson Jr. this past weekend. He finished with four tackles.
At one point, many — myself included — thought Chris Braswell would see an expanded role with Sanders out. That could still happen, but the Maryland native didn’t play a single snap against the Aggies this past weekend.
The Bulldogs bring a pass-heavy offense that checks in with the nation’s No. 5 ranked passing offense in yards per game (372.4). In other words, having another pass-rushing option such as Sanders would’ve been beneficial on Saturday.
In five games, Sanders has 20 tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss, four QB hurries and two pass breakups. He still hasn’t recorded his first-career sack yet, but he’s proven to be a valuable asset for Alabama’s defense.
Kickoff between Alabama and Mississippi State is set for 6 p.m. CT. The game will air on ESPN, with the Crimson Tide currently a 17-point favorite, according to VegasInsider.com.
After State, the Tide have a home game against Tennessee before getting to the bye week. So continue to check in on Sanders’ status in the coming weeks.