Alabama center Barrett Jones’ injured left foot has received maybe as much attention than any left foot since the 1989 Oscar-nominated movie “My Left Foot.”
So imagine how much Jones enjoyed getting asked by a reporter Thursday morning about his injured ankle.
“It’s fine. I’ve never had an injured ankle,” he said during Alabama’s media session with reporters in town to cover Monday’s BCS National Championship Game.
As for the left foot, Jones said it’s fine. At the Crimson Tide’s practice Thursday afternoon at Barry University, Jones worked out with the rest of the offensive line, participating in normal contact drills.
It marked Jones’ third straight practice with his teammates. He remained on the sideline a month after hurting his foot in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has said he wanted Jones to practice before allowing the Tide All-American to play in Monday against Notre Dame.
Update on Bell, Devall: Alabama receiver Kenny Bell drew some attention at the Crimson Tide’s workout Thursday afternoon, courtesy of his quarterback, AJ McCarron.
Bell is recovering from surgery for a broken leg Nov. 25, but is practicing and running well. And nobody made a bigger deal out of that than McCarron, one of Bell’s best friends on the team. As Bell made a nice catch of a ball thrown by Blake Sims, McCarron shouted, “Coach, put him in the game!” McCarron continued playing up Bell’s every run, cut and catch.
Bell still is wearing the black non-contact jersey that’s reserved for players who aren’t cleared for contact.
Fellow receiver Kevin Norwood said Thursday morning Bell looks fine on the field.
In addition, Alabama freshman reserve linebacker Denzel Devall practiced in his regular jersey as well. He sprained his knee Dec. 19 while working on the field goal block team.
Warm weather: Alabama worked out at Buccaneer Stadium at Barry University on Thursday for its first practice in Miami since arriving in town.
The stadium is typically a soccer field, but for the past 18 years, it has served as a practice facility for one of the teams in the Orange Bowl or BCS National Championship. Last year, Barry hosted West Virginia before its 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. When Alabama played Michigan in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 1999 season, Barry hosted the Wolverines.
The Crimson Tide worked out under a sunny sky in temperatures of about 76 degrees.
“It is a great atmosphere here,” Alabama junior linebacker C.J. Mosley said in a statement released by the school. “The wind is blowing and the sun is out so to get away from the rain and the cold in Tuscaloosa is great.
“We had a good practice today with an upbeat tempo. The main thing is to just get back into shape. It was good to get outside and give it all we have to get ready for the game.”
AJ and his shoes: Alabama running back Eddie Lacy revealed Thursday that his quarterback, AJ McCarron, has a bit of a thing for shoes. Lacy referred to it as a “fetish.”
Apparently, McCarron really likes his shoes. He said he brought a “whole bagful” to Miami with him. He added he has about 130 pairs of shoes in all.
“I’ve got a lot of shoes,” McCarron said, smiling. “I’ve always been that way ever since I was little. I figure you can wear the same outfit and change the shoes and it looks like a totally different outfit.
“I’m just big into shoes. Me and Kenny (Bell) kind of go back and forth and king of compete and see how many each of us have. But, yeah, I definitely brought a lot.”
Cover model: Eddie Lacy made the cover of a recent edition of Sports Illustrated, which gave the Tide running back a bit of attention he said he doesn’t usually get.
“I liked it because it’s my first time ever being on the cover of anything,” he said. “I felt like it was a big accomplishment for me personally.”
Lacy is a junior and has faced questions about whether he will return to Alabama for his senior season. When asked Thursday morning during the Crimson Tide’s media session, he dodged them. He has said since the end of the regular season, he’ll decide later.
Center-quarterback friendship: AJ McCarron says Barrett Jones is one of his favorite people, although both have said they can get under each other’s skin.
“You know, Barrett is such a smart guy,” McCarron said, smiling. “He talks so much sometimes, so probably what gets under my skin is when I’ve got to tell him to be quiet sometimes in the huddle.
“But probably what gets under his skin so much is when I prove him wrong. He hates to be wrong, so I always love it when I do that.”
McCarron said Jones “taught me the ropes and everything” when McCarron arrived on campus in 2009.
“He’s helped me tremendously,” he said. “I can’t say enough about him. I really do love him. He’s a great friend to have.”