"He'll be out this week," Petrino said. "He's made huge improvement. We are encouraged to the point that we are hopeful that he will play next week.
"It's hard on me because he doesn't miss games. He works hard in the offseason to be ready. He's worked hard in the training room to get back."
The Hogs travel to Tuscaloosa for a 2:30 p.m. SEC matchup with the No. 2 Crimson Tide on Saturday.
"We've had a good week," Petrino said after practice Thursday. "We are happy with our preparations. I think our team is going to be ready to play. We still have some mental and emotional work to do to finish the week.
"We understand what we need to do. We have to keep our concentration and our composure for four quarters. We understand there will be momentum swings. We want to get to the fourth quarter with a chance to win, then find a way to win it."
Petrino said the energy has been good as the No. 14 Hogs step up in competition after winning three nonconference games.
"It energizes everyone," he said. "You can see the way everyone gets to the meetings early and the way they practice. They definitely have a sense of urgency and the focus is good with the guys. They are here earlier and happier."
Petrino was asked about offensive tackle Mitch Smothers and quarterback Tyler Wilson. Both are making their first SEC starts.
"Mitch just needs to focus and play," Petrino said. "He's improved the first three weeks and he improved this week.
"Tyler has focused well this week. He's been very accurate. We see our players rally around him."
Petrino was asked about the last trip to Tuscaloosa when he said his team lacked confidence afterwards. What bothered the Hogs that game? Was it the huge Alabama crowd?
"A lot of things affected us," he said. "Mainly it was just not having confidence, not expecting to win.
"That's way behind us. We have a new identity with our team."
Petrino said on Monday that the Hogs worked on Alabama plans in practice in preseason. How has that work helped this week? Was there carry over?
"We'll find out," he said. "We did evaluate everything we did on Sunday to see how Alabama might have changed since we did that. We wanted to see if what we practiced was still the same things they have done in their games. How did they change?"