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Cam Robinson Injury Reaffirms Star OL Is Alabama's Most Indispensable Player

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama sophomore left tackle Cam Robinson had experienced it before, but not quite to this extent.

On Saturday afternoon, he went down with an injury during the Crimson Tide’s third practice of training camp, when players were donning shells for the first time this fall. After getting rolled from behind in a pile, he was carted off the practice field, mostly as a precaution.

It put the Alabama fanbase on high alert. With no media access other than a short viewing period earlier during individual drills, the rumors started flying through social media and on message boards. Speculation zeroed in on a possible broken foot that could sideline him for months, if not the season.

Only it wasn’t true.

Robinson had a mild knee sprain and wouldn’t even miss the next practice. Nick Saban was quick to announce that he was “fine” during Alabama’s media session Sunday morning, and the left tackle shook his head while downplaying the whole thing.

“I try not to let that bother me too much,” he said. “Fans are…we have the greatest fans in America, so I’m pretty sure if they hear of anybody getting hurt it’s going to be a hold-your-breath-type moment.”

Although it turned out to be another Chicken Little incident led by people assuming the worst, the injury scare did reinforce the notion that Robinson may be the player Alabama can least afford to lose to an injury this season.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t depth concerns, especially at wide receiver, and cornerback has been an ongoing problem for years. Yet when Saban announced other injuries—wide receiver Chris Black and tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith with sprained ankles and cornerback Marlon Humphrey with a pulled muscle—they barely registered as a blip on the fanbase's radar.

But left tackle is different, especially when you have a really good one.

Last year, Robinson was the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Alabama since Andre Smith (who was just the seventh true freshman in school history to start in his first career game) in 2006. Smith went on to win the Outland Trophy and be the sixth selection in the 2009 NFL draft.

Robinson has that kind of potential. Against the pass-rushers the Southeastern Conference had to offer, he was credited with 32 knockdown blocks while surrendering just three sacks in 861 snaps.

With a good fall, he could be in the running for All-American honors along with some hardware, and he was named to the preseason All-SEC team during media days.

“I have high expectations for myself. I knew that if I came in and worked that I would be able to do a lot,” said Robinson, who then demonstrated that he’s mastered the diplomatic side of media interviews as well. “Whatever comes from Nick comes from Nick. Whatever accolades and whatever comes, I just try and play to the best of my ability, and hopefully I’ll earn [them].”

With Robinson, Alabama could have another monster offensive line, possibly its best since All-Americans Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker were all manhandling opponents together during the 2012 title run.

Moreover, at 6’6”, 326 pounds, he’s the Crimson Tide’s most intimidating player outside of his defensive counterpart with the same last name, A’Shawn.

So the thought of not having Robinson is something Crimson Tide fans want to avoid at all costs, just like it was in 2014.

“I’ve never questioned his mental toughness, even last year when he got hurt in the Tennessee game and we thought he’d be out for two to four weeks,” Saban said. “We had a bye week, and he played at LSU two weeks later.

“He’s a guy—some guys can deal with those types of things and it doesn’t bother them. He seems to be one of those guys that doesn’t complain much and really can manage the bumps and bruises that you get playing football. Everybody gets them, and some people can manage them and some people don’t.”

That injury against the Volunteers was one that looked a lot worse than what it was. After taking 33 snaps in the game, Robinson tried to help running back T.J. Yeldon when he got stood up at the end of a nine-yard run, only to have Tennessee players land on the back of his leg.

The injury turned out to be a high-ankle sprain. As was the case with this incident, Robinson’s knee brace saved him from potentially severe damage.

“I’m fine. It’ll be all right,” Robinson said.

The sound that came after that was from thousands of fans exhaling together in relief.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer.

Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.

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Thomas Tyner Injury: Updates on Oregon RB's Recovery from Shoulder Surgery

Oregon running back Thomas Tyner underwent successful shoulder surgery Friday, but he will miss the 2015 regular season as a result, his father John revealed.

Continue for updates.

Tyner's Father Announces Status, Comments on 2016 Season Sunday, Aug. 9

"Lingering pain and discomfort led to Tyner undergoing surgery," relayed Aaron Fentress of CSNNW.com. "His father said the procedure went well and Tyner is expected to make a full recovery and return to action in 2016. John Tyner said that naturally his son is down about missing the season but is looking forward to next year." 

The shifty runner had established himself as a reliable complementary piece of the rushing attack, as his 573 yards and five touchdowns last season in a backup role proved. He's not built to take on a heavy workload, which is expected to be handled by Royce Freeman, but he's a spark plug capable of making big plays.

He's managed to stay pretty healthy during his time with the Ducks despite his lack of ideal size. The only notable injuries over the past couple of years were shoulder and ankle issues he dealt with at the same time late last season.

The loss of Tyner "could force senior Byron Marshall to return to running back after he spent most of last season at wide receiver," noted Fentress. "Marshall, who led the team last season with 74 receptions and 1,003 receiving yards, in 2013 led the team with 1,038 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns."

Looking ahead to 2016, Tyner should immediately step back into his usual role once healthy.

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Thomas Tyner Injury: Updates on Oregon RB's Recovery from Shoulder Surgery

Oregon running back Thomas Tyner underwent successful shoulder surgery Friday, but he will miss the 2015 regular season as a result, his father John revealed. Continue for updates...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Cam Robinson Injury: Updates on Alabama OT's Knee and Recovery

Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson sprained his knee in practice Saturday, as coach Nick Saban told Michael Casagrande of AL.com.

Continue for updates.

Robinson's Injury Isn't Considered SeriousSunday, August 9

Saban told Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News that Robinson "is fine" and may be able to participate in practice Sunday. He also praised his star offensive tackle, noting that "when he sets his mind to something he has a strong personality and is a strong, effective competitor," per Alex Scarborough of ESPN.

In other words, Saban doesn't expect a knee sprain will hold Robinson back.

Despite being just a sophomore, Robinson is one of the more talented offensive linemen in the country. A preseason All-SEC selection, he started all 14 games for Alabama as a true freshman and thrived, and he is expected to be a pillar on the line for the Crimson Tide this season. 

His loss would have been a crippling one for Alabama, so Sunday's news was certainly a relief for the program. The Crimson Tide simply can't afford to lose a player as valuable as Robinson as they compete in the brutal SEC West.


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Adam Lane Granted Release from Florida: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

The Florida Gators have granted running back Adam Lane his release so that he can address family concerns, according to the program's official Twitter account:

Lane, a sophomore, was expected to compete for playing time this season. After being given just eight carries during the 2014 season, he was named the MVP of the Birmingham Bowl after rushing 16 times for 109 yards and a score with Matt Jones out of the game due to injury. 

His low center of gravity and strength not only made him a tough player to tackle, as he hit the hole and bounced off would-be tacklers like a pinball, but also a fan favorite at Florida.

The move thins out the running back position pretty significantly for the Gators. While Kelvin Taylor is the starter, freshmen Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite will now be asked to step up and contribute with Lane off the team. It will be trial by fire for Florida's young backs. 


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Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher Buys Frozen Yogurt for Waiting Fans

It's not fun sitting outside in the Florida heat on an August day. But diehard Florida State Seminoles fans do it just to catch a glimpse of their favorite college football team. Dedication at it's finest.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher passed these fans on his way to work today and decided to reward them for their support and dedication to the team. And what better way to reward fans sitting out in the heat than with frozen yogurt? 

It was definitely the right move by coach Fisher. 

[ FSU Football ]

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SEC Football: Which Teams Are Trending Up and Down Heading into 2015 Season?

SEC football is so difficult to predict this year because of the parity in the league and the lack of definite juggernauts.

There are few guarantees when it comes to who's going to be good and who's going to have a difficult time. The perfect example is that the Mississippi State Bulldogs were picked by the media to finish dead last in the rugged SEC West a year after winning 10 games.

Few still believe in Missouri despite back-to-back SEC championship game appearances, and everybody is jumping on hype trains rolling through Knoxville, Fayetteville, College Station and the Alabama Plains.

Some teams appear to be built for a sustained return to competitiveness such as Tennessee, while other powerhouses are facing some very real questions entering 2015.

It's always going to be a fun season with twists, turns and surprises. But where would the fun be in abstaining from trying to predict who'll live up to the hype and who'll fall flat on their faces?

Let's take a look at a few teams trending upward here a month before the season kicks off and which teams are heading in the opposite direction, if only for a short time.

As always, sound off in the comments.

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