Alabama notebook: Saban on injured players, cornerbacks, Trent Richardson
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Sep 18, 2013 | 2639 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TUSCALOOSA -- Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Dakota Ball broke his foot at the end of Tuesday's practice.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Ball will need surgery and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Ball, who is from Lindale, Ga., had emergency appendectomy surgery in August and missed a chunk of preseason practice.

MORE INJURY REPORT: After going out before Alabama’s final touchdown drive Saturday against Texas A&M with an undisclosed injury, it looks like right guard Anthony Steen will play in the Tide’s game against Colorado State on Saturday.

On Monday, Saban said Steen was “probable,” and that Steen has progressed during the week.

“Well, he practiced today, and most of the time when guys practice today that means they can play in the game on Saturday,” Saban said. “So, I don't know what’s going to happen between now and then, but I think he’ll play in the game on Saturday.”

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback Deion Belue did not practice Wednesday. They rode stationary bikes during the media viewing period and wore black non-contact jerseys.

Both are unlikely to play. The Tide has multiple receivers to fill in for Norwood, and Saban said there are five potential replacements for Belue.

“Whether it be John Fulton, Bradley Sylve, Cyrus Jones and two freshmen, we’re allowing all those guys to compete,” Saban said. “At the end of the week, we’ll see which one of those guys can play the best and those are the guys that we'll put out there in the game.”

Saban didn’t name the freshman, but Maurice Smith is the only freshman cornerback who has played in the first two games. Eddie Jackson was seen working with Saban’s group of defensive backs during the media viewing period of Wednesday’s practice.

Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve worked with the first-team defense at cornerback. Geno Smith worked at the “star” position. Jarrick Williams lined up at “star” during Tuesday’s practice.

SABAN ON RICHARDSON: Former Alabama star Trent Richardson was traded by the Cleveland Browns to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday for a first-round draft pick in 2014.

Saban spoke highly of Richardson, who helped lead to the Tide to the 2011 national championship and was a key contributor on the 2009 team that won a national title.

“First of all, Trent’s a fantastic player. He is a fantastic person,” Saban said. “I just heard about it when I came off the field, but no disrespect to anybody, but Indianapolis has a good quarterback, they have a good young team. Hopefully, this is going to be a great situation and circumstance for him, so that he can have more success, and be a good player for a long time.”

Richardson, who was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in 2012, has rushed for 1,055 yards and 11 touchdowns in his short career. He also has 418 receiving yards and one reception touchdown. In 2011, Richardson was a Heisman finalist.

“The guy was a fantastic player here. We never had anybody who contributed more to the team in terms of how he played and how he affected other people,” Saban said. “I think he would be a tremendous asset to any organization.”
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