Kouandjio injury casues depth problems

Losing backup offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio for the season will make keeping Alabama’s starting offensive line healthy a major priority.

“It doesn’t affect our starters, so we keep that continuity,“ coach Nick Saban said Wednesday, “but it does affect our depth.”

The true freshman left tackle went down with a season-ending knee injury against Tennessee on Saturday.

Saban said he could use Alfred McCullough, who has moved around the line during his long career, as a backup to senior Barrett Jones at left tackle. McCullough started at right guard for Anthony Steen, who was out with an injury, against Tennessee. Steen should return for the LSU game and Saban said he could also play tackle if needed.

The Crimson Tide also has options at tackle in junior Tyler Love and redshirt freshman Austin Sheperd, who have both gotten playing time this season.

Regardless, Saban said losing Kouandjio is a big hit for the Tide’s line.

“When you lose guys it always affects your depth, and Cyrus was a very good player,“ he said. “We had looked at him as a guy, even though he’s a young player, just like a starter. He gave us some other flexibility and options because Barrett Jones could play some many different places. We don’t have that now, so hopefully -- God willing -- we’ll be able to stay health and other players will have an opportunity and I’m sure they’ll do a good job for us.”