Saturday, December 29, 2012

Barrett Jones remains a spectator at Tide practice

In just over one week Alabama will face Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game. What’s the contextual translation? Alabama center Barrett Jones has just over one week to get healthy.

Jones, who suffered an injury to his left foot during the early stages of the SEC championship game, has been relegated to a stationary bike while his teammates prepare for the Fighting Irish.

Although Jones did play through his foot ailment for essentially three quarters against Georgia, his lack of recovery during Alabama’s “down period,” coupled with his lack of practice participation, certainly indicates the injury is significant.

When Alabama returned to the practice field in mid December, Nick Saban announced that Jones would miss the first five practice sessions and would likely return when the Crimson Tide resumed practice after Christmas break. Well, Christmas has come and gone, ‘Bama is back on the practice field, but Jones continues to pedal the aforementioned stationary bike.

In Jones’ absence, redshirt freshman Ryan Kelly has worked with the first-team offense at the center position. Kelly, a three-star prospect in the class of 2011, will have to be “game ready” to compete against the top-ranked Irish given the current status of Jones.

In an ideal situation, Alabama’s most versatile offensive lineman would return to practice next week and play in the national title game with no ill effects, but right now, that scenario appears unlikely. Having said that, time will provide the definitive answer, because Alabama will arrive in Miami in just over 96 hours.

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