Ray, a preseason All-SEC selection, injured his foot during Saturday's win at South Carolina. As a freshman in 2017, Ray was limited to six games because of a foot injury.
Saban said Ray will miss this weekend's home game against Southern Miss, if not longer.
"We're doing further testing to see what it is with his foot," Saban said, "but it's undetermined how long he'll be out."
Alabama has been dealing with a rash of injuries on defense this year, most recently at inside linebacker where starters Joshua McMillon and Butkus Award finalist Dylan Moses suffered season-ending injuries just before the start of the season. True freshmen Shane Lee and Christian Harris have started in their place.
With Ray out, Alabama is likely to turn to another true freshman, Justin Eboigbe, to start at defensive end. Eboigbe made his first appearance this season against South Carolina.
"I think we have to work hard with those guys to get them to play well," Saban said on Monday. "There's no substitute for experience. ... We have a lot of young guys playing in the front seven."
After the Southern Miss game, No. 2-ranked Alabama returns to SEC play with games at home against Ole Miss and a road game against No. 17 Texas A&M.