One of the main conversations on "The Game" this Wednesday was discussing which player Alabama couldn't afford to lose either for the entire season or for a significant portion of the season.Guest host Travis Reier and the callers to the show had varying opinions on the topic: defensive players, offensive players, and even some specialists were brought up. Since Alabama will have so many important pieces next season, we'll just look at the top three players that the Tide can't afford to be without.

  • 3

    J.K. Scott

    Punter

    You don't think of punters often, but when a team has a game-changing leg like Scott, it's obvious that that team couldn't afford to be without a canon like his. As a freshman, he shot onto the scene as one of the best punters in the nation, and although he had a "sophomore slump" (if you call 44 yards/punt a "slump"), he's still got an NFL caliber leg. It's nice for a defense to know that the other team has to go 90 yards each drive just to score a touchdown.

    (Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics)
  • 2

    Reuben Foster

    Linebacker

    Since Nick Saban took over the helm in Tuscaloosa, he's always had a leader at linebacker: Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Nico Johnson, C.J. Mosely to name a few. Alabama needs a leader at the linebacker position, and this year is Foster's year to prove he's up to the task. Without Foster, it would be difficult for Alabama to do anything defensively with efficiency.

    (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
  • 1

    Marlon Humphrey

    Cornerback

    In this day and age of college football, you need speed on the field, and Humphrey brings that for sure. But it's more than just his speed that's important for the Tide: it's the uncertainty of the status of fellow cornerback Tony Brown. If Brown isn't out of Saban's doghouse, that leaves Minkah Fitzpatrick and freshman Kendall Sheffield as the two primary options at corner outside of Humphrey. And although Fitzpatrick proved last season that freshmen can step in and contribute, it's not reasonable to fully trust every freshman at such a crucial position.