TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- There was plenty of positivity last week surrounding Barrett Jones and a potential return for Friday’s Iron Bowl.
That initial prognosis isn’t holding up as game week progresses.
He’s yet to take off the black non-contact jersey during the three media viewing periods of practice this week as he continued riding the exercise bike Tuesday as the rest of the offensive line practiced without him.
“Barrett Jones is still struggling a little bit,” coach Nick Saban said Tuesday evening. “He hasn’t been able to practice much. He may try to do some things tomorrow and I think that would be the indicator of whether he would be able to participate in the game or not.”
Jones sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of the Nov. 13 win over Mississippi State and hasn’t played since.
Anthony Steen has taken his spot at starting right guard and continues to show progress, starting center William Vlachos said.
“He’s extremely talented,” Vlachos said. “He’s one of the strongest guys on the team as far as playing strength on the football field. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched film on him, but he gets straight up and bullies some people around. He’s a really talented player. He’s just a young guy who doesn’t have a ton of experience.
The news is better for Trent Jones who hasn’t played since the Nov. 6 loss at LSU.
“He’s doing great,” Saban said. “He’s practiced every day. He’s doing fine and we have every expectation that he’ll be able to play in the game. You never know what his durability will be, but he’s at full speed and ready to go right now.”
McElroy, Jones honored
The Rhodes Scholarship didn’t go to Greg McElroy, but he picked up an academic honor Tuesday.
The Tide quarterback was selected as the ESPN Academic All-American player of the year by the Sports Information Directors of America. He’s the first Alabama athlete to earn the honor since gymnast Stephanie Kite earned it in 2004.
Jones was named to the all-academic first team and is a second-year member.
A band of heavy downpours Tuesday morning forced the afternoon practice to be moved indoors. That didn’t mean the intensity took a step down.
“We’ve had a good of practice,” safety Mark Barron said. “We’ve been getting more and more comfortable with the game plan as the week goes on. So I think everybody’s in a good place right now.”