Citrus Bowl

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Nick Saban confirms absence of two Alabama defensive players for Citrus Bowl


With Alabama not playing in the College Football Playoff for the first time in the playoff era, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are no longer one of the few programs where players would opt out of playing bowl games this bowl season. On Monday, Saban confirmed his team will head to the Citrus Bowl without at least two players.

Linebacker Terrell Lewis and defensive back Trevon Diggs will not participate in Citrus Bowl preparations or the postseason bowl game this year, Saban has confirmed after some speculation regarding their absence from practice earlier in the day.

That official word did come a couple of hours later when Saban met with the media.

Lewis appeared in 11 games for Alabama this season after missing the 2018 season with an ACL injury. After recording  31 tackles with 11.5 TFL and six sacks, Lewis was named Second Team All-SEC. His decision to sit out of the bowl game comes as little surprise given his injury history with an NFL future potentially on the horizon. Although Lewis still has a year of eligibility available to him, he has earned his degree from Alabama and may have a chance to improve his NFL draft value in upcoming workouts and combine opportunities.

Diggs also made it on to the Second Team All-SEC this season. The senior defensive back played in 12 games for Alabama this season and intercepted three passes, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Lewis also contributed on special teams with six kickoff returns for 117 yards.

Alabama will face Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.