TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Already one of Alabama's big question marks, the defensive front has sustained another major blow with starting noseguard Brian Motley fracturing his left ankle.
Coach Nick Saban said today that Motley will miss 6-to-8 weeks after being hurt in the previous evening's practice. Sophomore Lorenzo Washington, who didn't make a tackle last season, will start in his place Saturday night against Western Carolina and will be backed up by freshmen.
Motley, a redshirt freshman, won the starting job after moving from center before spring practice. He recently returned to practice after undergoing surgery on his right hand.
Washington had been running with the first-team in his absence.
There's no experience behind him. Freshmen Alfred McCullough and Josh Chapman could be pressed into action.
The Tide, which is switching to a three-man front, is having to replace both interior line starters from last season. Plus, middle linebacker Prince Hall is suspended for the first game at another already-thin position.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)