TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama returned to the practice field on Tuesday to begin its bye week preparations. The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) is off this week after eight straight games.
What we saw
- Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick was spotted working with the safeties during the media’s viewing period. The move comes after safety Eddie Jackson was lost for the season due to a fractured leg. Fitzpatrick makes a lot of sense at safety. He’s a very instinctive and athletic player. He’s an aggressive playmaker (3 interceptions). But his best trait may be his ability to grasp the playbook. If Fitzpatrick sticks at safety, he could be an option as the signal caller for the secondary. Fitzpatrick is already playing two positions (cornerback and star). If there is anyone who can learn three positions in one season, it’s Fitzpatrick.
- With Fitzpatrick moving to safety, we saw Tony Brown working with the cornerbacks. That likely means Brown would be the replacement for Fitzpatrick at star (fifth defensive back). Brown has worked with the cornerbacks and safeties throughout his time in Tuscaloosa. His versatility makes him a valuable weapon to Alabama’s secondary.
- Based on some of those moves, we could see a nickel package with Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett at the cornerback spots, Ronnie Harrison and Fitzpatrick at the safety spots and Brown at star. That would allow Hootie Jones to come on in at his normal dime safety position. Alabama could put Fitzpatrick at star (fifth defensive back) and Brown at money (sixth defensive back) in dime with Jones and Harrison back deep as the safeties. There are a lot of options.
- Running back Damien Harris (leg) was limited during the viewing period. Harris has been able to play in games, but Alabama coach Nick Saban said Harris has been dealing with leg injuries. Harris hurt his ankle earlier this season. He has also been wearing a splint on his hamstring.
- Right guard Alphonse Taylor appeared to be limited. Taylor dressed for the game on Saturday, but did not play. Taylor suffered a concussion against Arkansas.
- Scouts from the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints watched practice.
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Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey
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