As crazy as it sounds, Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick has been cleared to play in the opener tonight against Virginia Tech, despite being shot in a robbery attempt Monday night. According to head coach Nick Saban during his weekly radio address Thursday night,
“Brandon is doing extremely well. He actually practiced today. It’s a little unbelievable to me. The first thing I do is talk to our medical staff, they actually say he’ll do no damage to himself. These things are actually being treated like a puncture wound because he had no damage to any nerves, no damage to any bone in either wound. It’s like stepping on a nail, when it heals up he can play. “We’re going to take it day-to-day. He really wants to play. I’ll talk to him and defer to him because he’s been cleared by the medical staff. I’ve met with his parents and talked with them. We want to do what’s best for him and we never want to do something that would be detrimental to his future career or even our season if he played before he’s ready.”
The bullet, which went through the flesh in his forearm and re-entered his body near his hip and left by his groin, did not come in contact with any bones, major arteries or nerves.
Deaderick started all 14 games last season for the Tide, coming through with more tackles(36), tackles for loss (5.5) and sacks (4) last season than All-American nose guard Terrence Cody (24, 4.5, 0.5).
Sources close to the team tell me that Deaderick isn't likely to actually play tonight, but just the fact that he has been cleared, is traveling with the team and will be on the sideline is sure to provide the Tide with an emotional boost.