Alabama linebacker Joshua McMillon is likely out for the season after suffering a knee injury during a scrimmage Saturday, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com.
There is reportedly a small chance he could return to the field by the end of the year. On Monday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban confirmed the injury in a statement but only said McMillon would be out for an "indefinite period," per Cecil Hurt of Tuscaloosa News.
McMillon was expected to be a starter on the Crimson Tide defense in 2019 after lining up as the first-team "Will" linebacker during spring and summer practices.
McMillon is a redshirt senior but has seen limited playing time since joining the program as a 4-star recruit in the 2015 class.
He appeared on special teams and defense in a reserve role over the past two years, totaling 19 tackles in 18 games played.
There was an opening for him this season to line up at middle linebacker opposite Dylan Moses, but this injury could ruin his best chance at a starting job.
With the team already short on depth at linebacker outside of Moses, a lot of uncertainty surrounds the starting unit. The injury could cause Saban to turn to some especially young players in the middle of the defense.
"The staff is excited about a couple of true freshmen there, including Shane Lee and Christian Harris," Aaron Suttles of The Athletic reported.
Sophomore Ale Kaho should also have an opportunity to earn the starting job.
The Crimson Tide finished last season outside the top 10 in points allowed per game for the first time since 2007, so the latest question mark should be cause for concern for the perennial national title contenders.