16 September 2009
The Alabama football team worked in full pads on Wednesday. Although it looked all afternoon as though rain might force them inside, it was the lightning that proceeded the rain that sent the squad into the Hank W. Crisp indoor facility for the second half of practice.
Here's what you need to know:
The same three guys who have been practicing in black all week are still in black - Julio Jones (knee), Roy Upchurch (ankle), and Kenny Bell (shin splints). Bell looks like he'll definitely be out on Saturday. As for Jones and Upchurch, Coach Saban had this to say in his teleconference:
They're both doing some things in practice, Julio a little bit more than Roy, in terms of running and doing things. The big thing is how they respond and react the next day, in terms of soreness and those type of things. Everything is day-to-day.
He indicated that a decision would likely be made after Thursday's practice. Since there is no media viewing period on Friday, that means we aren't likely to know until Saturday. If we hear anything, we'll let you know.
Baron Huber had a solid game as an H-back on Saturday, and that looks to be paying off in more reps at practice. After moving to tight end this offseason - after two years as the starter at fullback - Huber is a natural lead blocker. With the H-Back almost always moving in motion, Huber can see action in what essentially ends up being a fullback.
Nick Gentry is also using a solid game effort to get more reps. He was used a lot in the FIU game when the Panthers went to the no huddle, and he played well. He's still under-sized, but showed himself to be a bit of a "gamer". He worked today at defensive end, possibly looking to replace Damion Square; who will miss the remainder of the 2009 season with a torn ACL.
It looks like Jerrell Harris will not play on Saturday, for the third straight game. He's been working with the scout team while the UA compliance department awaits a ruling from the NCAA on his eligibility. Rumors on the internet continue to persist that we'll see him in the South Carolina game, but there has been nothing issued from the University on this issue.
This is a big week of practice for Star Jackson and Thomas Darrah. The coaches would certainly like to get more playing time for the #2 quarterback than the one series that the guys split against FIU. Since they're being listed with the dreaded "or" on the depth chart as the backup quarterbacks, one of the two guys needs to step forward and claim the spot. Jackson looked to have done that, but missed most of last week with the flu.
Fortunately it looks like the flu problems might be going away. According to an article on Al.com, the University as a whole is seeing its flu cases diminish. That's good news for a team that is starting to feel the bumps and bruises of the regular season. Add sickness to game wear and tear, and you end up with guys missing games.
Bama will practice again tomorrow and Friday, but there is no media access to either practice. We'll let you know if we hear anything, though.
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