Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's obvious that this year's Alabama team is not the same as the squad that won the national title last year. All you have to do is look at the Tide's record, and see those two blemishes in the loss column to figure that out. While there are a few reasons for this, one of the bigger factors has been the offensive line's inability to block for Greg McElroy.
Only Tennessee and Vanderbilt have allowed their quarterback to be sacked more often in the SEC this year than Alabama, who have given up 27 sacks. In the Iron Bowl on Friday, while Auburn's defense as a whole hasn't been all that impressive, the Alabama offensive line is going to have its hands full with Nick Fairley and company. A task that may be even tougher now that it looks like guard Barrett Jones isn't going to be able to play.
“Barrett Jones is still struggling a little bit,” said Nick Saban after practice on Tuesday. “He hasn’t been able to practice much. He may try to do some things tomorrow and I think that would be the indicator of whether he would be able to participate in the game or not.”
Jones suffered a sprained left ankle in the Mississippi State game, and sat out of the team's ritual sacrifice of Georgia State last week. He has been practicing, but he's been wearing the black "no-contact" jersey. If he can't go on Friday, he'll be replaced up front by Anthony Steen who filled in for him against Georgia State.