Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Barrett Jones nursing sprained left foot
By Edward Aschoff
Alabama center Barrett Jones will miss the next week of practice, as he continues to recover from a sprained foot that he suffered against Georgia in the SEC championship game on Dec. 1.
Coach Nick Saban said Jones, who wore a cast on his left foot and rode a stationary bike during Tuesday's practice, is "day to day" and that everything he's doing right now is "precautionary."
With Jones sidelined, freshman Ryan Kelly took snaps with the first-team offense.
Jones, who won the Rimington Award for the nation's top center, essentially played the final three quarters of the SEC title game on one foot. He needed crutches to get around after the game. Jones will be re-evaluated by doctors when he returns from Christmas break on Dec. 27, but he's already made up his mind that he'll be playing against Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship on Jan. 7.
"I'll be playing in the game," Jones said. "I'll be fine."
Jones' attitude toward his availability shouldn't come as much of a surprise. He could barely walk after the SEC title game, yet he was out on the field for most of game even after his first-quarter injury. Jones is one of the hardest workers around and if he could play on one foot against the Bulldogs, he'll do it again against Notre Dame if he has to.
While Jones is confident that he'll be ready to go for the BCS title game, Saban still doesn't know if wide receiver Kenny Bell will be able to play against the Fighting Irish. Bell broke his leg in the Crimson Tide's 49-0 win over Western Carolina on Nov. 17, but wore a black non-contact jersey during Tuesday's practice.
"I can't make a call as to whether he'll play or not," Saban said of Bell.
Having Bell back would give the Tide even more firepower on offense. He was quarterback AJ McCarron's top deep threat for most of the season, averaging 25.4 yards per catch this season.
Starting nose guard Jesse Williams also went through Alabama's first bowl practice with a black non-contact jersey on.