Broken Fibula Can Be Overcome

In 1935, Alabama's "other end," Paul Bryant, suffered a broken fibula playing against Mississippi State. You've heard of Paul Bryant. And as of the Tuesday announcement of an injury to freshman tailback Derrick Henry that will keep him out of Saturday's A-Day Game, you have heard of the fibula. It's the smaller of the two leg bones.

Derrick Henry, a 6-3, 238-pound freshman tailback from Yulee, Fla., suffered a broken leg in Saturday's Alabama football scrimmage. He had surgery following the fracture of his fibula and Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced that Henry should be ready for fall camp in August.

In 1935, Bryant had his fractured leg in a cast for two weeks. Bama had an open date following the Mississippi State game and then was to play arch-rival Tennessee in Knoxville. The team doctor took the cast off Bryant the Friday night before the game against the Vols and told the end he could dress for the game. He also assured Bryant there was no chance the bone would "stick out."

And when Alabama kicked off against Tennessee, Bryant was on the field. He also made some key pass receptions in the Tide's 25-0 upset of the Vols.

It will come as no surprise that the Atlanta press didn't believe Bryant had played with a broken leg and sent a reporter to Tuscaloosa to see the X-ray. The reporter was convinced of the injury and wrote a story praising Bryant's courage.

Bryant, who was known as "the other end" because the incomparable Don Hutson had played opposite Bryant in 1933 and 1934, had another good game the next week as Alabama beat Georgia in Athens.

This is not to say that a broken leg helps Henry, but it could have a positive influence on the tailbacks. Henry had 17 rushes for 79 yards last Saturday before being injured. In the first scrimmage of the spring he had 12 carries for 52 yards.

Henry will not participate in Alabama's A-Day Game on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. (Kickoff is at 2 p.m. CDT. There is no admission charge and the game will be televised by ESPN2.)

Henry enrolled at The University in January so he could take part in the off-season program and spring drills. He has been competing with sophomores T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake.

Yeldon, who was the back-up to Eddie Lacy last fall, and Drake, who saw limited action as a true freshman in 2012, are highly-motivated competitors.

There had been some speculation on the status of incoming running backs. Now Tyren Jones, a 5-9, 215-pound tailback from Marietta, Georgia; Alvin Kamara, a 5-10, 195-pound runner from Norcross, Ga.; and Altee Tenpenny, a 6-0, 207-pound running back from Little Rock, Ark., may have extra motivation as they prepare to arrive in Tuscaloosa this summer.

Henry was a five-star signee, but Jones, Kamara, and Tenpenny were all-four-star recruits.

Henry rushed for 4,261 yards (a Florida prep record) and 55 touchdowns as a senior and had career totals of 12,124 yards and 153 rushing touchdowns, both national records.

Jones rushed for 1,845 yards and 18 touchdowns and averaged 6.5 yards per carry as a senior at Walton High School.

Kamara rushed for 2,264 yards and 26 touchdowns and averaged 7.5 yards per carry as a senior.

Tenpenny (who missed his junior season with a broken ankle) had 1,379 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior at Little Rock North.

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