Alabama redshirt senior defensive lineman Dakota Ball accidentally shot himself in the finger while hunting and missed practice on Friday, Nick Saban told reporters.
Saban says Dakota Ball didn't practice today after a hunting accident in which he shot his finger. #Alabama— Joe Whelan (@WhelanABC3340) December 17, 2016
The accident happened sometime recently, but we don’t know exactly when.
Saban said backup DE Dakota Ball shot his finger in a hunting accident during the team's recent break, doesn't have a timeframe for return.— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) December 17, 2016
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.