Tide Trying to Heal for Scrimmage

A team usually isn't deep at a team such as receivers' coach, but Alabama is an exception. Regular receivers coach Charlie Harbison went down with a knee injury on Thursday which required surgery. His back-up on Friday, a former Crimson Tide receiver himself, Tim Bowens.

Bowens, who is normally the Crimson Tide's Assistant Director of Football Operations, is allowed by NCAA rules to temporarily replace Harbison while he is gone.

"(Harbison) made it through okay and he's in recovery now," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said Friday. "We can use Tim Bowens temporarily until Cheese gets back. Tim's been a good person in the organization, and it's convenient since he played the position when he was in school here."

Harbison is among a rash of recent injuries lately. His was more serious than any of the players, however.

Friday's practice was just over an hour in oppressive heat. It was shortened to help the squad be physically rested for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The squad will go through a short special teams practice on Saturday morning before the scrimmage.

Much of the post-practice session was spent running down a list of who might and might not participate in the scrimmage, a list that will not be finalized until later Friday night, after Shula has met with the trainers and assistant coaches to review the health situaions.

"We have some linemen that have been beat up that we hope can go tomorrow," Shula said. "I think Justin Britt will be able to go tomorrow."

Mike Johnson returned to the practice field Friday from a sprained ankle that had kept him sidelined, but he was still slowed by the injury.

"I know he's not 100 per cent right now," Shula said, "but he is fighting through it. He will get treatment and get rested up tonight and we'll see if he can tomorrow."

Kenneth Darby has been away from the team for family reasons, and Shula said there's a chance Darby could return for the scrimmage Saturday, but it's not a certainty.

Safety Justin Woodall, running back Glen Coffee, placekicker Jamie Christensen, offensive lineman David Ross and defensive end Chris Harris are among those who probably won't participate Saturday. Shula said receiver Matt Caddell is nursing a sore quad, but he has not missed any field time.

Defensive end Wallace Gilberry was back off the injured squad Friday, and is likely to participate in the scrimmage.

Running back Jimmy Johns (head) was in orange today.

Losing Andre?

Andre Smith said Friday that there hasn't been anyone on defense that has physically overmatched him in camp, which certainly goes along with perceptions of untrained eyes watching him. Smith said he has lost 13 pounds since he first reported for fall camp, down to 335 pounds from the reporting weight of 348.

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