TUSCALOOSA | Injured University of Alabama center Barrett Jones is unable to resume practice with the Crimson Tide following the team's three-day Christmas break, but the Rimington Trophy winner might be ready by next week, UA coach Nick Saban said Thursday.
In the meantime, both Jones (foot injury) and linebacker Denzel Devall (knee) will run on treadmills this week to continue their recoveries.
"Barrett and Denzel both spent a little time on a treadmill. Depending on how that goes this week, then they'll probably be able to practice maybe next week," Saban said. "That's kind of the plan, but it's day to day because they both need to continue to make progress to be able to come back and play."
Jones hurt his foot in the first quarter against Georgia, but played through the injury to finish the Crimson Tide's 32-28 Southeastern Conference Championship Game win over the Bulldogs. Jones' foot was in a boot during practice Thursday, and he wore a black (non-contact) jersey while working with trainers. Devall injured his knee in practice last week but is not expected to miss the BCS title game against Notre Dame Jan. 7.
"I get Barrett mad -- I told him today, practice was easier because I didn't have to listen to him talk," quarterback AJ McCarron said with a laugh.
Saban said he is hopeful that Jones and Devall both can return in time to participate in five practices. Reserve center Ryan Kelly has worked with the first group in bowl practices while Jones' rehabilitation continues.
"He's an exceptional young player who catches onto things very quickly," said guard Chance Warmack.
Trouble getting back
UA coach Nick Saban said several Crimson Tide players had weather-related problems returning to campus on time after the Christmas break. And while quarterback AJ McCarron didn't say whether he was among those with return travel troubles, he did have a close call with the tornado activity in Mobile.
"We were pretty close to numerous (tornadoes), but luckily nothing bad," McCarron said.
"Watching my son open up his gifts." Defensive end Damion Square on the best Christmas gift he received. So what did his son receive? "He got a little motorcycle, and he's loving it right now. And I got him a little Nerf gun, so he's running around the house shooting the dog."
Alabama practice in full pads indoors Thursday and resumes practice Friday afternoon. The team will depart for Miami on Jan. 2. It's first practice after the holiday break came with a 90-minute workout Wednesday in helmets and shorts.
Reach Chase Goodbread at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0196.
TIDESPORTS.COM Premium Recruiting: Former UA great and Tidesports contributor John Copeland's video analysis of UA commit Johnathan Allen.