It wasn't long ago folks were wondering if Kenneth Darby would really be able to come back strong this season after sports hernia surgery in the off season. There has been a de-emphasis on the running game in the Tide's first two games, but it's because Brodie Croyle is also healthy and itching to throw, not because Darby can't carry the load.
Instead of needing a breather, Darby actually said after the Southern Miss game that he had hoped the coaches would have given him the ball more.
Coffee looked Wednesday like a status upgrade might be coming soon. He was in a Crimson-colored jersey instead of the orange "injured" jersey he wore Tuesday.
"I'm basically fine," he said. "I'm cleared by the doctors and everything so I'm ready to go."
Jimmy Johns was in a similar situation, and too practice Wednesday. Johns hurt his right shoulder covering a punt against Southern Miss. It's the same shoulder and same injury he suffered in the Alabama-Mississippi All-star week, and had an MRI taken to learn there wasn't any ligament damage.
"It was like Déjà vu," Johns said. "I'm staying in rehab three times a day trying to get better. I just aggravated it. It's fine now and I hope it will stay fine until Saturday."
Johns was a quarterback in the summer and the injured shoulder was on his throwing arm. Johns is a running back, at least for this year, and has not had an MRI since re-injuring his shoulder.
"No, I just had to get a lot of ice," he said.
Running backs coach was short-handed on Tuesday, and glad to see the two freshman back Wednesday.
"I just coach ‘em when they bring ‘em out here," Woods said. "If they come out here in those orange shirts I go coach them other guys."
Freshman Ali Sharrief is still working his way back into the Alabama offense after off-season shoulder surgery kept him out of most of the fall contact work. Sharrief looks headed for a redshirt.
Normally number 29, Sharrief donned number 25 in practice this week assuming the scout team role of Gamecock starting tailback Mike Davis who wears 25.