Texas A&M safety Floyd Raven will miss Saturday's crucial home game against Alabama due to a collarbone injury sustained in the Aggies' 65-28 thrashing of Sam Houston State.
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While TAMU may miss Raven's veteran presence in the secondary, the return of three other defensive starters off suspension will shore up the defense. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin told reporters Raven was out indefinitely, but expected him back before the end of the season.
Returning from a two-game suspension are defensive starters De'Vante Harris (cornerback), Steven Jenkins (linebacker), Gavin Stansbury (defensive end), plus reserve receiver Edward Pope. Jenkins ranked third on the team in tackles with 79 last year, including a pair of sacks, and is among the top NFL hopefuls on the A&M defense.
Texas A&M's defense has been criticized for lapses against non-conference foes Rice and Sam Houston State, who have combined to score 59 points. Against Rice, TAMU was especially short-handed, with Raven and cornerback Deshazor Everett also on suspension, albeit Everett for just a half.
Minus Raven, the Aggies' secondary could be more exposed to throws in the middle of the field by Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, who excels on play-action passes.