Nick Saban Updates Cam Robinson, T.J. Yeldon Status For LSU [VIDEO]
Two key Alabama offensive starters may return from injury in time for Saturday's game at LSU after all.
Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed during Wednesday morning's SEC coaches' teleconference and reaffirmed it in his evening press conference that running back T.J. Yeldon will play "for sure" and left tackle Cam Robinson is "day-to-day" against the Tigers.
"From an injury standpoint, everybody practiced today," Saban said during his Wednesday press conference. "A couple guys we’re evaluating day-to-day, and they seem to be doing well, so hopefully they’ll all be able to play in the game."
Yeldon, a junior who has rushed for a team-leading 618 yards rushing this season, sat out the entire fourth quarter at Tennessee two weeks ago after spraining his foot earlier in the game.
Robinson, a true freshman who has started every game at left tackle in his short Crimson Tide career, sustained a high ankle sprain against the Volunteers, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game. At the time of the injury, Saban said Robinson's ankle was expected to take a "couple of weeks" to heal, but the Louisiana native has been back practicing since Monday.
"As we increase the workload, it will be based on how his ankle sort of responds to the workload," Saban said.
Senior Austin Shepherd will likely shift from right tackle to left tackle, with sophomore Grant Hill coming off the bench to start at right tackle in the event that Robinson isn't able to play.
Starting center Ryan Kelly has also seen positive signs in terms of Robinson's health this week, as he continues to work his way back from injury.
"He’s doing good," Kelly said. "He’s a big competitor, even though he’s young. He pushes really hard through practice. Very curious to see what happens, but he was looking good out there today."
Practicing for the Death Valley atmosphere
Can the Crimson Tide match Tiger Stadium's crowd noise from the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields? They're trying, at least.
In an effort to prepare the expected crowd noise at LSU this Saturday, Alabama has been simulating crowd noise through loudspeakers at practice this week to work through potential communication issues that sometimes occur in that type of environment.
"The simulation, it isn’t far away from each other," wide receiver DeAndrew White said. “But at the same time, it’s not like the real thing. In practice we try to simulate the real thing and sometimes you can’t really hear each other because of the speakers and stuff like that. It helps out a lot."
White, a fifth-year senior, will be playing at LSU after a redshirt season in 2010 and an injury in 2012 prevented him from making a previous trip to Death Valley with the Crimson Tide.
"My teammates told me it’s very intense, loud," White said. "It’s going to be a good game because every time we play them at home, they come with their 'A' game. I’m looking forward to it."
Kelly, who served as Barrett Jones' backup at center the last time Alabama made the trip to Baton Rouge in 2012, says Tiger Stadium probably ranks "No. 1" in road environments the Crimson Tide faces.
"Tennessee was loud – I think they have a bigger stadium than LSU – but obviously Baton Rouge on a Saturday night, you can’t beat it," Kelly said. "That’s what we’ve practicing all week."
Watch the player interviews from Wednesday below:
Center Ryan Kelly:
Wide receiver DeAndrew White: