18 November 2008
Bama hit the practice field again today, working on general fundamental football. With no game this Saturday, Bama worked as one unit, with no scout team. On field work on Auburn will begin on Monday, though film study is already under way. Here's what you need to know about today's practice:
Roy Upchurch was back in a white jersey today, having been cleared for contact by the doctors. It was a game time decision on Saturday to hold Upchurch out of contact, and it appears as though two extra days off did the trick and he's ready to go now.
Barrett Jones and Tyler Love continue to practice in black no contact jerseys, as has been the case since homecoming week. Both guys have been able to go through individual and conditioning drills, but neither guy has been cleared for contact.
With the weather having turned cold, and the wind seeming like it was Saturday night all over again, Bama worked in pants along with their shoulder pads, jerseys, and helmets. The normal drill is for Wednesday to be in full pads, though it's doubtful that Bama will do much hitting this week. An off week this late in the season is used primarily for one thing - getting healthy.
With the exception of Jones and Love, there are no major injuries being dealt with. As good as that news is, Bama is coming off of back to back games that were very physical, and this week will give guys a chance to let nagging injuries and bruises heal.
Rolando McClain had a minor surgery on his hand, which should have ample time to get to 100%. Both Terrance Cody and Andre Smith have been dealing with tweaked knees for weeks, and both guys should have time to get back to full strength for Auburn.
Don't be terribly surprised if you hear about some odd things happening in practice. As was the case with the last off week, some guys will get days off, while others will get reps that they don't normally get. The week can also allow time for John Parker Wilson to develop a rhythm with a receiver other than Julio Jones.
There should be a Wednesday press conference from Nick Saban, though the off week could see that get canceled. If there is, we'll have a full report tomorrow.