Senior Dakota Ball showed up for Peach Bowl practices down his left index finger after shooting it off by accident with a shotgun. When seen by reporters at Alabama's Peach Bowl media day with his left hand heavily wrapped, Ball was asked what happened.
"I shot my finger off with a 12-gauge shotgun," he said, according to AL.com. "It's completely gone. I shot it right at the knuckle and blew it off."
The accident happened while trying to secure the gun before taking off on a four-wheeler while out with a friend two weeks ago.
"I was tying a rope around the barrel and around the stock to keep the shotgun from falling out of my lap," Ball said. "I was tying rope around the barrel and it just went off. I didn't have my hand on the trigger."
Alabama has enough depth on the defensive line that there shouldn't be too much trouble finding a replacement for Ball's spot in the rotation. Ball appeared in all 13 games for the Tide and had 12 tackles (1 for loss, 0.5 sacks) in 2016.
As for Ball's long-term health, he's unsure what the recovery time will be and is hoping that his hand heals as best it can after his finger was taken off about two inches down.
"Am I worried about football? No," Ball said. "I'm just worried about my hand healing. If I can play in the next game, like special teams. I'll do it. But I'm not going to worry about it, really."