September 27, 2007

Mustin, Motley returning to action

When Alabama coach Nick Saban walked to the podium Wednesday and announced that UA linebacker Darren Mustin would likely play Saturday against Florida State, it came as a surprise to few. After all, Mustin himself was surprised to be held out of last week's game against Georgia with a shoulder stinger suffered against Arkansas the week before.

But when Saban said noseguard Brian Motley, out all season with ankle fracture, was a possibility for playing time, there were more than a few raised eyebrows.

Motley, who earned a starting position in the spring after switching from the offensive line, was projected to require as many as eight weeks to recover. Now, it appears he will contribute in some capacity against the Seminoles.

"Motley has practiced for two days and he'll probably be able to pl;ay some role in this game if he doesn't have any re-occuring problem," Saban said.

Lorenzo Washington started in Motley's place and, according to Saban, has played well. Washington has made 14 tackles in four starts, including his first career sack in the season opener against Western Carolina. The addition of Motley should mean fewer snaps for true freshmen Josh Chapman, Alfred McCullough and Nick Gentry, who have all seen backup action on the nose.

"He ran last week, he did all the drills, they cleared him to practice this week," Saban said of Motley. "He's been able to do fairly well in practice."

As for Mustin, the Crimson Tide's starter at weakside linebacker has missed the last six quarters of play with a shoulder stinger that was slow to respond to treatment.

"It sucks. It's like watching your best friend out there fighting for his life, and you have some chains around you and you can't go out there to help him," Mustin said of sitting out the Georgia game. "I'm living in that training room."

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