That's a picture of Glenn Dorsey and Charles Alexander, our two starting defensive tackles until yesterday. In practice yesterday, Charles Alexander injured his knee and is believed to be out for the rest of the season.
Alexander is a junior who has started most of the games the past two seasons. He's not a headline maker, but he's a blocker-eater who makes room for guys like Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson to make plays.
It's very unfortunate to him that he will probably miss the remainder of what could be such a great season. And despite Alexander's injury, it could still be a great season. There is not a great drop-off in ability between Alexander and his primary backup Marlon Favorite. The two have platooned at defensive tackle for most of this season and last season.
The more serious problem this creates for the roster is what to do with Alexander's backup's backup. You NEED four defensive tackles. With Alexander out, we have 3 who have played in Dorsey, Favorite, and Al Woods. Those three will likely have to play more, but we will definitely need a 4th.
This is where we miss Ricky Jean-Francois even more. Jean-Francois would likely have been the starting defensive end this year, but also slides inside to play defensive tackle at times. He could easily have been moved to play defensive tackle, and would have been just as disruptive in that role as he is at defensive end.
Without Jean-Francois available, the next option I suppose is to take away one of the freshmen's redshirt. Word is that the leading candidate among the freshmen defensive tackles is Drake Nevis. Honestly, I'm not that fond of redshirting players who are ready, and I think Les Miles redshirts players too often. I'm not happy he may be forced to make an exception to his pro-redshirting policy due to injury, however.
Another option is to slide Pep Levingston, a 3rd string defensive end who has been very visible when he's gotten into the games, down to defensive tackle. I don't know if Levingston is well-suited for defensive tackle, but he can play football. He's at least our 8th best defensive lineman with Alexander out, but at end he's mired at 3rd string due to the greater depth there.
I don't get a vote, which is probably for the best, but if I had a vote, I'd say move Levingston down to tackle unless Nevis is a better tackle RIGHT NOW.