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The Alabama Crimson Tide remain unblemished in terms of win-loss record and that perfection helps to earn Nick Saban’s team the No. 1 overall ranking right now according to the College Football Playoff committee. However, the Tide have not been quite as dominant in recent days and some of that can be traced to a defense that has suffered considerable injuries over the course of the always grueling season.

However, Matt Zenitz of AL.com paints a rather positive picture for Alabama’s linebacking corps and that, of course, is a unit that could really use some positive news. The report indicates that Christian Miller (elbow) is “expected to be able to play” against Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl clash and, beyond that, Terrell Lewis (biceps) is “on track to return” as soon as the Iron Bowl or, in safer terms, by the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

It is important to note that neither has been announced as medically cleared to return just yet, but Miller hopped on Twitter to provide another window of optimism this week.

Alabama has been functioning without four quality linebackers recently, as the duo of Miller and Lewis have been joined on the sideline by Mack Wilson and Shaun Dion Hamilton. While the entire quintet won’t be returning, encouraging buzz about Miller and Lewis is huge for a defense that needs to be operating at a high level against Auburn, Georgia and potentially into the College Football Playoff.

Alabama updates injury status of top defenders ahead of Iron Bowl, SEC Championship game Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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