Despite Injury Concerns, Nick Saban Says Blake Sims is ‘Fine’ [VIDEO]
Alabama quarterback Blake Sims has been limited in practice ever since he bruised the AC joint in his throwing shoulder against Florida two weeks ago. He didn't thrown a single pass during the media-viewing portions of practice on Monday and Tuesday, and when he finally did on Wednesday, the passes were few and light.
So even though Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and players haven't seemed concerned, the question remains: Will Sims be healthy in time for Saturday's game against No. 11 Ole Miss?
"Blake is fine," Saban said. "He's done really well. He hasn't had any issues or problems. Looks like his old self. I would not know that he was ever hurt based on the way he's practiced and the way he's played. He hasn't had any discomfort at all after doing it, which I think is the real key to the drill."
Even as a defender, defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson sees nothing wrong with Sims.
"He looks amazing to me," Tomlinson said. "Trying to rush against him, he's pretty fast. He's been looking good to us."
Sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson has been working his way back on to the field after sitting out against Florida with a quadriceps injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will immediately come back as a starter.
Jackson, who started against Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss after missing the season opener against West Virginia as he continued to recover from a torn ACL suffered in the spring, is currently competing with true freshman Tony Brown for one of the two starting corner jobs, opposite junior Cyrus Jones.
Asked about an update on the position battle Wednesday evening, Saban was brief.
"It’s still playing out. So, it's not done, incomplete," he said.
Brown, in his first career start against the Gators, limited Florida's Demarcus Robinson, who statistically ranks among the top wideouts in the SEC, to two catches for 14 yards.
During his SEC coaches teleconference earlier in the day, Saban had high praise for Brown.
"Tony has really progressed very nicely for us and made really good progress, so we're pleased with that," Saban said. "We have no problem playing young players, but we also try to protect our players and make sure that they've got enough knowledge and experience and understanding of what's expected of them before we sort of throw them in there. Tony got to play probably almost half the game in a couple of games prior to the Florida game."
Saban also provided answers to the absences of two backup offensive players Wednesday.
Running back Tyren Jones tore a tendon in his finger that required surgery and will "probably" be out for several weeks. Offensive lineman Grant Hill is "ill" and is "very questionable" for Saturday's game due to what he has missed in practice.
Neither player has practiced this week.
Jones, a backup who redshirted last season as a freshman, rushed for 89 yards on 13 attempts and one touchdown prior to the injury. Last week, he wore a black, non-contact jersey and rode a stationary bike in practice.
Hill, a sophomore from Huntsville, has worked primarily as a second-team left or right tackle this season.
“We’re just trying to help him get well,” Saban said. “We’ll see when he’s able to come back and contribute to the team.”
Senior wide receiver DeAndrew White (foot, shoulder) also remains limited in practice and his status for Ole Miss is unknown.