TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama junior wide receiver Julio Jones was wearing black, signaling no contact, and running through drills during the observation portion of Tuesday's practice, but apparently did a little more once the cameras were turned off.
"He's going through practice just like everyone else," sophomore tight end Michael Williams said. "It's not bringing him down or anything, it's not bringing the team down."
He didn't catch any balls, did he?
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"I think he's catching some one-handed passes," he said. "Just to let you know what kind of player he is."
Jones sustained a broken bone in his right hand early on against South Carolina, and wound up with eight catches for 118 yards and one touchdown. He had surgery Sunday to insert both a plate and screw.
Coach Nick Saban said on Monday that Jones would be re-evaluated Wednesday regarding his status for Saturday evening's game against Ole Miss. He deciding factor will probably be how much pain Jones can play with.
"Knowing Julio, I wouldn't doubt it,"
Williams said. "I wouldn't doubt it at all."
Reporters didn't see anything thrown toward Jones, just both he and the quarterbacks going through the motions. However, when asked how many of the passes were caught Williams couldn't help himself.
"All of them!" he said with a huge grin.
Sophomore Nico Johnson went through individual drills paired with junior Dont'a Hightower at the interior spots, just like they would play together in the base defense, and might see more game action against Ole Miss.
"I hope so," Johnson said. "Just going to practice and working, that's all he can control."
Junior linebacker Courtney Upshaw (thigh, ankle) practiced, but was limited, and junior linebacker Chris Jordan is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Both were said me doing better, but their availability for the Rebels has yet to be determined.
Riding the wave of Alabama games, CBS announced that its national ratings through its first four weeks of broadcasts have been its highest in 11 years.
The network is averaging a 4.2/10 household rating/share, up 11 percent from last year's 3.8/9. Alabama at Arkansas scored 5.2/12, followed by 5.0/10 for Florida at Alabama, and Alabama at South Carolina scored 4.9/12.
Last Saturday's game was up 58 percent from last year's game it the same slot No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Ole Miss (3.1/7).
Freshman running back Blake Sims is one of the players wearing No. 8 for the scout team, the number worn by Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. "Blake helps a lot," Johnson said. "He put down today once or twice, but having athletes like Blake and a lot of others makes a real big difference. Having a scout team to carry those roles during practice it should be easier in the game, we should be used to it."
Alabama was in full pads Tuesday after just having meetings and a walkthrough Monday. Among those a little more in mix appeared to be Alex Watkins and Kerry Murphy.
There's a reason why you don't see open receivers jumping up and down or wildly waving their hands to get the quarterback's attention: "We call that Harry high school," Williams said. "Don't wave your hands, none of that. If he's doing his progression he'll see you and get you the ball."