The Alabama football team might be the healthiest it's been this month when it takes the field against Auburn on Saturday.

The most important return to the lineup might be defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Chuck Bednarik Awards. The junior injured his hamstring against LSU and missed time in that game. He played through it in the win against Mississippi State but sat out last week against Mercer.

Now Fitzpatrick appears ready to return for the biggest game of the season on Saturday.

"I'm feeling great," Fitzpatrick said this week. "You know last week I sat out so the rest of my body recovered. I've been treating my hamstring so that it's right."

Adding him to the defense will give Alabama its best chance at limiting the big-play ability of the Auburn offense. If the Tide can do that, it will have a chance to pull off the win and claim the SEC West title.

There's no bigger stage than the Iron Bowl to do that, and Fitzpatrick has learned how important this game is to the state.

"I would watch the game when I was back at home in New Jersey in high school and stuff, but I never really realized how much it meant to everybody down here. It's almost another holiday to people down here, It's pretty funny. But it's pretty cool just seeing the tradition and the rivalry, how much it means to people."

Listen to everything Fitzpatrick had to say in the video above about the defense, wanting to play through injury, and how tough the environment will be this weekend.

More From 95.3 The Bear