Football is a physical game, and from time to time, players get injured.
For Alabama star wideout Julio Jones, he has been through this before and expects to be in the starting lineup this weekend as No. 1 Alabama will face #19 South Carolina.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Jones did not show any negative signs at Wednesday’s practice, and believes the 6’4, 220 pound receiver’s knee condition will gradually improve.
Saban held a press conference and spoke about the importance of this weekend’s game (You Tube video) and said that his players have been working hard to get back on the field — including Jones.
“He was able to move around out there,” Saban said. “Like always, you have to see how he responds to that tomorrow, in terms of what happens next, but if he looks OK then, he should be fine.”
Saban wants his players to be able to perform through injuries and has used motivational speeches to help get his players ready to play–especially in big games.
“This is probably the game that will define us more than any game we play this year,” Saban said.
Last season prior to Alabama’s national championship game, Jones had publicly said he had been dealing with knee issues during the 2009 season.
Jones was the Tide’s leading receiver last year and had said in 2009, his knee injury did affect him on the field.
“It limited me a lot,” Jones said. “Some routes I couldn’t run. It limited me to one side of the field, too. I couldn’t run routes where I was pushing off that leg. The hardest thing was cutting.”
Jones leads the Crimson Tide team once again with 24 catches for 322 receiving yards this season.
Alabama is 5 and 0 overall and 2 and 0 in the SEC West.