Saban Updates Tide Injuries, Others

A few weeks ago, while watching the Alabama-Vanderbilt game on TV with a small group of friends, Brian Motley made a bold prediction. Motley, who would have been the starting noseguard for 'Bama save a leg injury, said he'd start the Florida State game. Turns out, he wasn't as far off on that prediction as some may have thought. Coach Nick Saban covers several topics Wednesday.

Tide coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday night that Motley has been cleared by the UA medical staff to resume playng and the redshirt freshman from Autaugaville has been practicing all week. "He's done well," said Saban of Motley's FSU-week preparation.

Saban also indicated that Darren Mustin could see action Saturday at his normal Will linebacker slot, but neither Motley nor Mustin was likely to start the 4:07 p.m. CBS contest.

How much will Mustin play if he's fully cleared?

"I would bring a guy back in tidbits," Saban said. "Let him play a little bit."

Other injury news: tight end Preston Dial and kicker Jamie Christensen are both back at full-speed this week, but one Tider has suffered another setback. Offensive tackle Cody Davis has re-injured his shoulder this week according to Saban who said Davis is "probably out indefinitely, maybe longer than that."

The Crimson Tide, No. 22 in this week's Associated Press poll, seems to be responding well and trying to get better after last week's overtime home loss to Georgia.

"Most of the guys are trying to do the things the way we want, and we'll have to replace the guys that don't as soon as we can replace them. Doing it correctly is important," Saban said.

"We've tried to work hard on the commitment and the discipline, and getting it right. Control what we can control, improve what we can improve. Everybody's got to evaluate their own individual performance and see what part of the problem they are, whether it's coaches, players, all of us."

"Do something to make a difference, and try to make some kind of changes that can make us improve."

After his fumble on the second-half kick-off Saturday, one scribe wanted to know if there were any changes planned on the kick return unit, such as swapping the positions of Lowe and Javier Arenas (which the Tide did, once).

"Between those two guys, we don't care who they kick it to," Saban responded. "We feel like both those guys are very capable."

Saban added that Roy Upchurch's role is expanding in the Tide's offensive plans.

"I've got no problem playing Roy," he said. "He's done a good job in practice. The way I look at it is, ‘Can a guy play winning football at his position?'"

Saban indicated had the UGA game gone into more overtime periods, Upchurch would likely have been on the field.

Tennessee is playing a rare junior varsity game at Neyland Stadium when Hargarve Military visits Thursday night. Saban is not sure what the advantages of 'Bama fielding a JV squad for the first time since 2001 would be, since even Tide subs play a big role in daily workouts.

"When you have 105 guys on scholarship… its hard for us to get (players) out of our scout team in practice," he said.

According to Saban, no determination has been made at this point as to who will or won't redshirt for the 2007 Tide.

"We don't pre-meditate redshirting anybody. If we think they can help us win, we play them," Saban stated.

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