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An Alabama defensive lineman shot himself in the finger in a pre-Playoff hunting accident

Dakota Ball is a backup defensive end for the Tide. His status going forward is unclear.

Western Kentucky v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama redshirt senior defensive lineman Dakota Ball accidentally shot himself in the finger while hunting and missed practice on Friday, Nick Saban told reporters.

The accident happened sometime recently, but we don’t know exactly when.

Saban told the assembled media that he wasn’t sure how much time Ball would miss. He’s a rotation player on Alabama’s line, and the Tide have a College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve, against Washington. Whether Ball could play in two weeks depends, of course, on the extent and severity of his injury, which isn’t yet public. Nor is which finger was shot, for that matter.

Here’s to a speedy recovery for Ball. If he’s out, he’ll be a loss, although Alabama has enough great defensive front players to weather the absence of just about anyone.

Ball was a three-star recruit in 2012, and he’s worked his way up in Saban’s program over time. He played sparingly as a lineman as a redshirt freshman in 2013, then spent 2014 and 2015 working as a tight end.

Back on defense this year, he has 12 total tackles and a half-sack. He’s listed as a backup end behind starter Dalvin Tomlinson.