TUSCALOOSA | The timing for Deion Belue's shoulder injury, and perhaps the timing of his recovery, couldn't have been any better.
The University of Alabama's starting cornerback returned to practice Monday and should be ready to play Saturday when the Crimson Tide visits Missouri. Belue injured his shoulder in Alabama's 33-14 home win over Ole Miss, and missed practice during the team's idle week.
"Deion Belue's going to practice," UA coach Nick Saban said. "We're going to limit his contact for a few more days but he can practice today."
Third-year sophomore John Fulton filled in for Belue for the balance of the Ole Miss game, and Saban said Fulton performed well in relief.
"Those guys are well prepared to play," safety Robert Lester said of the reserve defensive backs.
Belue, a junior college transfer in his first year at Alabama, has started every game this season. He is tied for the team lead in interceptions with two, and is tied for fifth on the team in tackles with 15.
Alabama coach Nick Saban was a college teammate of Missouri coach Gary Pinkel's at Kent State, and later got into the coaching business together. Years later, Saban recommended Pinkel to succeed him after one season as coach at Toledo in 1990.
"He was a hard worker, very smart football-wise. We spent one year kind of as GAs, part-time coaches, whatever," Saban said. "We were not assistants, (but) I did have an opportunity to work with him."
Calloway at running back
Saban suggested during the UA idle week that Brent Calloway might be a possible option to add depth to the running back position, and Calloway did just that at practice Monday. The Russellville native, who had worked at H-back since the spring, would give UA four healthy scholarship running backs. The Crimson Tide has lost two rushers for the season to injury -- Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart.
Alabama-Tennessee kickoff announcement delayed
CBS exercised its six-day option on choosing its broadcast for Oct. 20, enabling the network to wait until after Saturday's games to announce its choice. CBS will choose between Alabama-Tennessee, LSU-Texas A&M and LSU-South Carolina, leaving the other two games for evening broadcasts on an ESPN platform.
"I think this bye week was perfect timing. It gave the younger guys a chance to look at other teams and other great teams and them not bringing their A game to the game and actually lose a game, maybe they learn a lesson while not actually going out there and learning a lesson and it costing us." - Safety Robert Lester.
"Anytime I've ever gotten here (early) in the morning he's already here. I'm pretty sure he's got a little bed back in his office." - Linebacker C.J. Mosley on Saban's morning work ethic.
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood, who was limited in practice recently, was ready to participate fully in Monday's practice. ... Missouri is 2-1 all-time against Alabama, but lost its only contest against the Crimson Tide that occurred on its home field (38-20 in 1978). Missouri beat UA in the 1968 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., and in Birmingham in 1975. ... Alabama's record coming off an idle week under Saban is 3-3, with wins over LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn, and all three losses to LSU. ... Alabama practiced in shorts Monday and will resume practice Tuesday afternoon.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.
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