Terrence Jones injured a shoulder in Alabama's win over Louisiana Monroe last week. He did not practice in Bama's contact work. Following Thursday's workout in shorts and helmets, Crimson Tide Head Coach Mike Shula said, "It will be a gametime decision on Terrence. We'll give him every opportunity. If he can't play, those other guys have to step up."
Alabama will depart Friday for Fayetteville for a brief workout in Razorbacks Stadium. "We'll let them break a sweat, get a feel for the field, see the lcokerroom," Shula said.
The Crimson Tide will take on Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. CDT Saturday with television coverage by CBS. Bama is 3-0 on the season and the Razorbacks are 2-1. Both teams are 1-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
For the first time this year (not counting speculation on how Tuscaloosa humidity might affect Hawaii), the weather looms as a factor Saturday. The forecast in Fayetteville calls for isolated thunderstorms, a 30 per cent chance of precipitation. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s.
As the visiting team in an SEC game, Alabama is limited to a 70-man travel squad. Shula said it was "tough" to make the decision on the 70. "We'd like to take them all," he said. "But we think we're taking all the ones we need to help with depth and special teams."
Shula said that Thursday's work "sums up the physical part, but we still have a lot of things to go over. Coaches are firm believers that you keep going ovr things, and you want the players to take that idea. We'll keep talking right up until gametime.
"The little things are usually important, particularly on a road game."
Shula said his players are excited about going to Arkansas to play a good team in a "unique" atmosphere."
In addition to Jones, Shula said a gametime decision would be made on whether Jamie Christensen or Leigh Tiffin would kick extra points and field goals. Christensen, who did all the placekicking in 2005, has not kicked extra points and field goals this year after suffering a pre-season groin injury. He did kick off last week and will kick off Saturday. Shula said he has told both players to be ready to kick.
Bama will take four running backs–Kenneth Darby, Jimmy Johns, Roy Upchurch, and Ali Sharrief. Terry Grant has been lost for the year, undergoing shoulder surgery. As of Thursday after practice, Shula had not heard how that surgery had gone.
Glen Coffee, last year's number two halfback, has been nursing a knee injury. Shula said he is "still a couple of weeks away, but he's doing better." Shula said Coffee has been running and might be able to begin practice in a week or so.
Safety Cory Reamer had knee surgery and Shula said it went well.