The Crimson Tide is down a center as Barrett Jones suffered a left foot sprain injury on December 1.
Jones came down hard on his foot in the first quarter of Alabama’s win against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Jones was able to finish out the game but sat out of practice for the next three weeks, sporting a blue cast on his left foot.
Jones, a team captain and the Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s best center, confirmed the injury to reporters with a simple, “Sprained foot. Going to be fine. Can’t wait to play.”
By December 27, Jones was dressed in his pads for practice, but wasn’t allowed on the field. Wearing a black walking boot and a black jersey to indicate that he cannot receive contact of any kind, Jones stayed on the sidelines for light exercises with strength coach Scott Cochran.
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said that while his team is staring down a national title, he cannot rush his center or injured linebacker Denzel Devall back into play.
“Barrett and Denzel both spent a little time on a treadmill,” Saban said; “… they’ll probably be able to practice maybe next week. That’s kind of the plan, but it’s day to day because they both need to continue to make progress to be able to come back and play.”
Quarterback AJ McCarron says it’s hard not having Jones on the field.
“I definitely miss him [on the field] because he’s one of my good friends,” he said. “I like having him out there. We kind of go back and forth with each other.”