Alabama Football: Who practiced and didn’t on day one of Auburn prep


Alabama football opened practice for Auburn with some injury questions. Check out who practiced on Monday, who didn’t and who is expected to play on Saturday.

Alabama football fans well remember what happened in the 2017 Iron Bowl to an injury-weakened Crimson Tide defense. Kerryon Johnson rushed for 104 yards. Jarrett Stidham completed 22-of-28 passes for 237 yards. Stidham also rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Tide linebackers Mack Wilson and Christian Miller, who played last year at far less than 100 percent will look to correct last season’s defensive problems. Fortunately this season, only one current starter is banged up for the Auburn game. Unfortunately, that one player is the leader of the Tide secondary, Deionte Thompson. The other haunting memory from last season’s game is Auburn receiver, Ryan Davis catching 11 passes for 139 yards. Even Minkah Fitzpatrick could not slow down Davis.

Deionte hurt his knee against The Citadel. He had been labeled by some as questionable for Saturday, but he practiced on Monday. Thompson is now diagnosed as having a bruised knee. During the media viewing period Monday, he was running at full speed and showed no limitations.

The other immediate injury concerns are on offense. Deonte Brown (turf toe), Alex Leatherwood (ankle) and Damien Harris (mild concussion) are all questionable for Saturday. Of the three, only Brown practiced on Monday.  Brown was doing the offensive line drills but returning from a turf toe injury in just two weeks would be a rapid recovery. Alex Leatherwood is expected to return to practice by Tuesday or Wednesday. Getting at least one of the two road graders healthy enough to go against Auburn would be beneficial. The Auburn defensive line will provide a tough, physical challenge.

Damien Harris also sat out the Monday practice. Earlier in the day, Nick Saban talked about Damien’s status.

"We’ll hold (Damien) out today but he’s made really good progress. As everyone knows, we have a concussion protocol. Because we have a baseline test on every player and when a player gets back to his baseline — this was called a mild concussion, and hopefully he’ll be back to his baseline soon and he can resume activity when that occurs."

It is hard to know about concussion recovery. The Alabama football medical staff will take no chances. With such a deep backfield, holding Damien out until the SEC Championship game makes sense.

Amazingly there is little concern about Tua’s health this week. He looked so much better without the knee brace, he appeared to be at or near 100 percent against The Citadel. The other good injury news is Jalen turning the corner from limping around in practices to looking pretty solid last Saturday. With another week of healing, it appears Jalen will be healthy enough if Tua has to come out.

Next. 3-Star Recruits who became Crimson Tide Greats. dark

The special teams groups are healthy for Auburn. However, that does not provide much assurance for fans worried about the Tide’s place-kicking woes. Take heart, Alabama football fans – a 24-point spread game almost never comes down to the kicking game.