Alabama Crimson Tide offensive tackle D.J. Fluker is in Mobile this week for Senior Bowl practices, but the potential first-round pick may be forced to miss the game because of lingering issues.
Fluker became one of the first underclassmen to receive an invite to the all-star game thanks to a new rule that allows draft eligible underclassmen to participate if they have received permission from the school and already earned their degree. Fluker qualified along with Syracuse offensive lineman Jordan Pugh.
The Alabama tackle says he will participate in weigh-ins on Monday and then test out his injured groin and calf during the afternoon’s South squad practice.
“That’s kind of questionable right now,” Fluker said. “I’m trying to see how I feel today and tomorrow and see how we go from there.
“Hopefully it will prove to everybody that I can play. I (want to show) I’m a physical tackle. That’s kind of what people look for. I (want to show I can) move in pass protection and try to prove it and all the little things.”
Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage believed Fluker would leave the Senior Bowl on Sunday evening, but he appears ready to give it a go and see if his injuries will hold up throughout the week. Surely Savage would love to have another Alabama star in the game, but he understands the young men’s futures are on the line.
“It’s a long arduous season for those players,” Savage said. “They haven’t had much down time, so I can understand where players are like, ‘hey, you know what, I’m just going to go into rehab and get ready for the Combine.’ It makes some sense.”
Fluker moved to the Mobile area after his family was displaced from Hurricane Katrina. It would be great to watch him go out and solidify his first-round status while showcasing his skills for the hometown fans.