Surgery Planned On DB B.J. Scott

Each press briefing by Alabama Coach Nick Saban includes any injury update the Crimson Tide head coach feels necessary to share. This week was no exception, including a surprise surgery announcement. And the Tide coach also answered a question about a potential injury to his own hand.



First the serious stuff as Alabama prepares for Georgia State. The Crimson Tide, 8-2 overall and 5-2 in Southeastern Conference play, will host the Georgia State Panthers at 6:30 p.m. CST Thursday in a game that will be telecast on ESPNU. Although the game is not expected to pose a serious challenge for the Crimson Tide since Georgia State is a first year program, there was interest in the Bama injury situation.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that starting right guard sophomore Barrett Jones is expected to miss the game. Jones left the 30-10 win over Mississippi State early, was on crutches on the Alabama sidelines, and reported by Saban to have suffered an ankle injury. Kerry Murphy had been considered questionable last week and Saban said the sophomore nose tackle is "probably questionable" again this week.

The biggest surpise of the briefing is that sophomore cornerback B.J. Scott "is probably going to have surgery in the next couple of days on an ankle that has never really ever gotten any better over the last two or three weeks. I think it's a tendon issue. Since he hasn't responded, the only other way to do this is to fix it."

While right guard Jones went out of the game against Mississippi State, right offensive tackle D.J. Fluker returned to action against the Bulldogs. Fluker, a redshirt freshman, had been out since suffering a groin injury against South Carolina. While Fluker was out, his place was taken by junior Alfred McCullough. Jones was replaced in the Mississippi State game by redshirt freshman Anthony Steen.

Saban said, "D.J. did fine in the game and Anthony Steen did a pretty good job after he got settled down in this game. You just get more guys that have less knowledge and less experience in the offensive line. We'll probably at least practice Alfred (McCullough) a little bit at guard too. Alfred is kind of the guy that can left tackle, right tackle, can just about play anywhere.. He is really a guard to start with so we'll practice him some there just so we have some additional depth. D.J. did fine in the game and we'll probably end up playing like we finished the game after Barrett got hurt."

Trent Richardson was held out of the Mississippi State game, but the sophomore tailback will likely be ready to play this week. Saban said, "He's practicing today. He actually wanted to play in the last game, but we didn't feel like he'd practiced enough or he was ready enough. I still think we have to evaluate that day-to-day. It will be interesting. He really didn't do anything on Friday, Saturday or Sunday so he's had three recovery days as well as rehab days to see where he is today and that will determine a lot as to how ready he will be to play in this game and what contribution he'll be able to make."

The most interesting "injury" question came regarding Saban's animated conversation with back-up quarterback A.J. McCarron following a poor showing in the red zone against Mississippi State in mop-up work. Saban gave the redshirt freshman a tongue-lashing, which concluded with an emphatic Saban slap on McCarron's butt.

Did Saban hurt his hand on McCarron's hip pad?

Saban smiled and said, ""I didn't feel his hip pad. You need to ask him what he felt. He told me we made ESPN, huh? Just to share with you, I love A.J. and the challenge with A.J. has never been about his talent, it's always been about staying in what you're supposed to do. We ran a post over that you're supposed to read from top-down. They had a middle of the field safety and guy covering Julio and a guy coming over – this was way before we ever got sacked and fumbled and did all that other stuff when we had to kick the field goal. I just felt like he should have thrown the ball to the guy that wasn't covered running the over route instead of trying to make a big play trying by throwing the ball down the field. You take what the defense gives you. You don't make a decision before it ever happens that you're going to throw a touchdown pass. You need to check your ego at the door and do what you're supposed to do to make it work for the team. I've had this conversation already so it's not like I'm doing anything new. It was a good opportunity to teach and it was a good opportunity for him to learn."

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