Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AL.COM- Julio Jones, D.J. Fluker practice; Jones making 'one-handed catches', Izzy Gould, Tuscaloosa Bureau

TUSCALOOSA - Alabama receiver Julio Jones and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker wore black non-contact jerseys at Tuesday's practice.

Jones ran receiving routes, simulated catches, but was not thrown to during the brief media viewing period, which lasted roughly 20 minutes.

Afterward, Tide receiver Michael Williams said Jones was making one-handed catches during practice.

"He's going through practice just like everybody else," Williams said. "He's keeping it up there and not bringing the team down. ...I think he's making one-handed catches. That let's you know what type of player he is."

Jones is recovering from a fractured left hand, which required surgery including a plate and some screws.

Saban said Monday Jones would be cleared to play when he can tolerate the pain. Jones led the Tide last week with 8 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown earning offensive player of the week from the coaching staff.

Asked how many one-handed catches Jones made, Williams said,"He catches all of them."

Asked if he thought if Jones would come back from the Ole Miss game, Williams said, "Knowing Julio, I wouldn't doubt it. I wouldn't doubt it at all."

Fluker rode a stationary bicycle on the far side of the practice complex away from most of the team. He then moved to another bike closer to the offensive linemen using metal hand rails to pedal the bike planting his feet on the ground.

Fluker is coping with what Saban described as a severe groin injury, and is expected to miss a week and possibly more. Saban said he would likely be replaced by Alfred McCullough.

McCullough has relished the opportunity to start.

"I'm very excited about it," McCullough said of his first start. "I'm ready every week in case someone goes down as D.J. did. It's unfortunate, but I'm going to do my best."
Also of note, linebacker linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Chris Jordan also practiced. Upshaw, who started against South Carolina and made two tackles, had his right ankle taped. Jordan, who has played in five games before sitting out against the Gamecocks, is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Tide linebacker Nico Johnson said Jordan is "coming along strong" and "should be OK." He also said Upshaw is "getting there."


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