Every season, key players across the country see their seasons ended prematurely by injuries. Here's a look at some of the SEC players who suffered that fate in 2015 and could be primed for a big 2016 season:
Otaro Alaka, LB, Texas A&M: Alaka is the Aggies' best linebacker, but he only played in three games in 2015 because of injuries that disrupted his training camp and eventually, the final nine games of the season. If he is healthy and remains so, the Aggies have a good chance to take another significant step forward defensively under John Chavis. Alaka has the speed to effectively rush the quarterback and is also a good tackler in the run game.
Harold Brantley, DL, Missouri: Injuries from a car accident prevented the defensive lineman from taking the field in 2015, but he returned to the field this spring in a limited capacity -- coach Barry Odom noted that he still had academic work to complete -- but overall, Brantley is working to get himself in a position to get back on the field in time for fall. If he can, he will give a boost to an already-talented Missouri defensive line, led by Charles Harris, Walter Brady and Terry Beckner Jr. Brantley was thought to be the best of the bunch before his injuries, so getting him back at full strength would be huge for the Tigers.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Chubb was en route to a huge season, putting five consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games together before going down because of a season-ending knee injury in the Bulldogs' sixth game. A fully healthy Chubb is one of the best running backs in the country, without question. If he's 100 percent by the season opener, look out for big things from him.
Tony Conner, S, Ole Miss: After appearing in every game in his first two seasons on campus, Conner was limited to only five games last season because of a meniscus tear in his knee. Coach Hugh Freeze notes that getting Conner back "would make a huge, huge difference on our defense," in 2016. After earning All-SEC honors and leading all SEC defensive backs in tackles for loss (nine) in 2014, it's clear to see what type of impact Conner can make.
Robert Foster, WR, Alabama: In the first two-plus games of 2015, Foster caught 10 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns while starting at receiver, but a shoulder injury suffered in the third game -- the Crimson Tide's loss to Ole Miss -- ended Foster's season. He is one of the team's fastest players, and having a healthy Foster to join Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart makes the Crimson Tide's explosive receiving group even more threatening, when you also factor in tight end O.J. Howard.
Keon Hatcher, WR, Arkansas: A foot injury ended Hatcher's season after two good games in 2015 (where he combined to catch 13 passes for 198 yards), but the senior was granted a medical redshirt for one more year of eligibility. As the most experienced receiver of the bunch, he'll join a talented group of pass-catchers that includes Drew Morgan (team-high 63 catches last season) and tight end Jeremy Sprinkle for new quarterback Austin Allen to utilize. If fully healthy, Hatcher could be in for a big season.
Joshua Holsey, CB, Auburn: Holsey tore his ACL in Auburn's second game of the season, a win over Jacksonville State. It was the same ACL he tore in the 2013 season. He started seven games in 2014 and the first two games of 2015 before the injury and was expected to have a key role in the Tigers' defense. If healthy, he should play a big part this season in the Auburn secondary.
Andrew Jelks, Vanderbilt: After starting 21 games in 2013 and 2014, Jelks missed all of 2015 because of a knee injury suffered in training camp. The left tackle is healthy again and expected to return to his role on the blind side and be a key piece of what Vanderbilt coaches hope is an improved offense. A good season would be helpful because the Commodores' offensive line needs improvement from its 2015 showing.