Are Alabama Players too Beat Up for the NFL?
ESPN's NFL analyst Adam Schefter brought up an interesting point today. He questioned the durability of Alabama football players coming to the NFL.
Several former Alabama players have been injured often since being drafted, and it's not going unnoticed, says Schefter.
"Just last year, NFL teams' medical reports revealed that Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner underwent five different surgeries. Some trainers believed that because of the condition of his toes, former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy would not be able to have an extended NFL career. Teams questioned the condition of former Alabama guard Chance Warmack's knees, defensive tackle Jesse Williams' knees and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker's shoulder."
Most people who follow Alabama football know that the Crimson Tide has one of the best conditioning programs in the country. Although Schefter may have a legitimate point, not every player coming out of Tuscaloosa is on injured reserve.
Rashad Johnson, Mark Barron, Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower, and Marcell Dareus -- just to name a few -- have either started or are starting for NFL teams this season, and none to this point have been on injured reserve.
In fact, if anything, Alabama players are starting to be known for their toughness. It was recently discovered that Johnson, a safety for the Arizona Cardinals, stayed in a game with part of his finger missing. Now, that's a badass!
Julio Jones, who is out for the season with a foot injury, had a reputation for being a tough guy even before he played a game in the NFL. It was discovered after the NFL tryouts, that Jones had an injured hand.
Point being that, yes, Alabama has had it share of injured players, but no more or no less than any other team. And as long as Nick Saban's team produces great players, teams will always take a chance.