Alabama Bye Week May Help Injured

Following Alabama’s 19-14 win over Tennessee Saturday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban said he thought his team appeared to be tired, mentally and physically, after eight consecutive games, including a tough four-game stretch in which the last two opponents had open dates before playing Bama.

Now Alabama has an open date. The Tide returns to action Nov.7 in a battle of top 10 teams. LSU, which is also open this weekend, is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference games. Bama is 7-1 and 4-1.

Alabama is practicing three days this week. The Tide was in the indoor practice facility for Tuesday’s work as rain fell in Tuscaloosa. There will be work Wednesday and Thursday and then players will have a long weekend before beginning preparation for LSU.

Nick Saban said his approach to practice in the week of an open date in the season has changed over the years. He said, “We used to practice more, but I don't think you get a lot of quality practice time if you practice more than this. I think the rest is probably more important mentally as well as physically.”

He called Bama’s come-from-behind win over Tennessee “a little bit of a survival game. We didn't play with a lot of juice in the game, but we showed great grit and determination and competitive spirit to come back and win the game and made a lot of really good plays in the last five and a half minutes of the game; great drive on offense and defense getting them stopped in two-minute.”

One part of having an open date is getting injured players healed up. The Tide had three players who were obviously injured against Tennessee – safety Eddie Jackson, who returned to the game; safety Ronnie Harrison, who had replaced Jackson, and who suffered a sprained ankle; and offensive right tackle Dominick Jackson, who also had a sprained ankle.

Saban said, “Eddie practiced a little bit today but we think he'll get better every day and probably be back in a day or two. Ronnie Harrison is going to be in a boot for a couple of days, but we think by the end of the week he'll be okay. Dominick Jackson, same injury that Cam (Cameron Robinson) had last year against Tennessee, had the same procedure done on it. Cam played against LSU. I don't know if Dominick will be able to play or not. That's going to be day by day probably after about a week's rest to see how he responds.”

Saban said that if Jackson is not able to play that Brandon Greene would move into that spot. He also said that starting left guard Ross Pierschbacker, who subbed at right tackle in the game, is capable of playing both tackles, and mentioned Korren Kirven as a possibility.

The coach said, “It would have to come from that group of guys, but Brandon Greene is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in who has been a backup at that position all year. If that were the case, he may not be able to play as much at tight end."

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