The media is buzzing with news that several key Tide players are practicing with injuries. There doesn’t seem to be cause for undue concern. However, the situation bears watching so we’ll update with any news over the next several practices.
Starting safety Mark Barron continued to be held out of contact drills during the media viewing period today, as he has during the six weeks since the Iron Bowl. According to TideSports Chase Goodbread, Barron said yesterday he is no longer bothered by the rib cartilage injury that forced him to sit much of the Auburn game. It seems the coaching staff just wants to be cautious, and Barron should be ready to play in the BCS title game. He is the second leading tackler for the Tide.
Eddie Lacy has had turf toe since the Ole Miss game, which limited his playing time during the regular season. He is finally running through all drills during media viewing periods and appears ready to play against LSU. Bama Sports Report points out, “Lacy is a Louisiana native, so having the chance to play for a title in his home state, against his home state school is likely all of the motivation that he needs to play through his injury.” Lacy is Alabama’s second leading rusher with 631 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 8.0 yards per play in all-purpose running.
Running back Trent Richardson has a wrap around his right wrist and part of his ball carrying hand. Apparently he’s been wrapped up for practices since the Iron Bowl. As Al.com’s Izzy Gould points out, “He wore a protective boot all last season, and his foot never seemed to be an issue during games.” Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman finalist Richardson will be a key factor in the Tide’s title game and it doesn’t appear anything will hold him back. Quoted by CBSSports Jim Dunn, Richardson says the Tide has something to prove to LSU and the nation. “We just love being the underdogs, and we love being the team that nobody wanted to see in the championship game. That put a chip on our shoulder.” Richardson is Alabama’s leading offensive weapon with 1,910 rushing and receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.
Tide starting “Star” cornerback DeQuan Menzie (#24) and nickel cornerback Dee Milliner (#28) both have upper leg wraps but continue to practice with the 1’s as shown in the video below. Menzie’s right thigh and hip are wrapped and he’s been limping very slightly in media practice viewing sessions. Milliner’s left thigh is wrapped. Al.com’s Don Kausler, Jr. says, “If one or both of these defensive backs are not playing at 100 percent Monday night in the BCS Championship Game against LSU, it could be a big blow to the nation's top-ranked scoring defense, total defense and pass defense.”
Considering Menzie has played through serious injuries before, the video doesn’t show much to worry about right now. According to Bama nose guard Josh Chapman, “DQ, he plays well with injuries. I see a lot of guys who probably get hurt and sit it out, but he’s one of those fighters.”
Milliner led the Tide in interceptions (3) this season. Menzie led in passes broken up (11).
All other players appear to be ready to play except the rehabbing Dee Hart, Cyrus Kouandjio and Arie Kouandjio.
More Bama updates on Twitter @LivingCrimson.