Alabama center Ryan Kelly's return a 'game-time decision'

Anniston StarNovember 28, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama center Ryan Kelly will be a "game-time decision" for the Iron Bowl, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said during his Wednesday news conference.

"He will probably be a game-time decision in pregame as to whether he can or can't play in the game," Saban said during his Wednesday news conference. "Same kind of injury he had before, but not nearly as serious. We'll see how that goes."

Kelly sprained his knee during Tuesday's practice. Despite talk of him being out for the season, Kelly was at practice on Wednesday in a regular jersey.

Kelly worked off to the side with trainers and didn't participate in any drills with the first or second team offensive line during the media's viewing period. Saban said Kelly will also be limited in Thursday's practice.

Redshirt junior Chad Lindsay took snaps with the first team at center. Lindsay replaced Kelly after he went down against Ole Miss with a stretched MCL. Lindsay also started the next three games (Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas).

"Chad Lindsay did great when he played," Saban said. "We played great in the offensive line and he did a really good job. We have every confidence in him. We view him as a starter. Ryan has a little more experience because he's played more, mostly this year, but Chad did a really good job for us and we have every confidence in him. It's an opportunity for him. If Ryan can't play, I'm sure he'll will do a good job for us."

Kelly has started the past four games (Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State and Chattanooga).

Fifth-year senior Kellen Williams took snaps at center with the second unit during Wednesday's practice.

Williams also took extra snaps at left guard. Williams is Arie Kouandjio's backup. Kouandjio twisted his ankle on Saturday against Chattanooga, but will likely play in the Iron Bowl.

Jones gets the nod

Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones has played well enough to solidify his starting spot.

Jones will likely start his fifth consecutive game on Saturday at Auburn, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Wednesday.

Jones is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and has four pass breakups and passes defended.

Jones has filled in for Bradley Sylve, who missed three games with a high ankle sprain. Sylve returned against Chattanooga on Saturday in a reserve role.

If starter Deion Belue, who did not play last week against the Mocs, is healthy enough to start, Sylve will be his backup.

"We have confidence in Bradley and we have confidence in Cyrus," Saban said. "Right now, Cyrus is doing just fine, so that's probably how we'll sort of stay."

Alabama has started six different combinations at cornerback spots this season. Belue (nine) and Jones (four) have the most starts among the group and started together three other times. Senior John Fulton and true freshmen Maurice Smith Eddie Jackson also started games this year.

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