TUSCALOOSA — Alabama held its first scrimmage of preseason practice Saturday and came away with a few injuries.
The most notable was offensive lineman Dominick Jackson going down with an ankle injury. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the ankle sprain might keep Jackson “out for a couple of weeks.”
Jackson, a junior college transfer, was competing for a spot in the two-deep and possibly the starting job at right tackle. During the media’s viewing period of practices, Jackson has worked at right guard with the second offensive line group behind Alphonse Taylor.
Saban said safety Geno Smith sprained his knee and will “probably be out for a day or two.”
Defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson missed the scrimmage with a toe injury. Saban said Tomlinson was “playing well” before the injury.
“He got his toe stepped on last night in practice so he might be out a day or two or whatever,” Saban said.
Saban also said there were a couple of players who sustained mild ankle sprains, but he didn’t reveal any of the names.
Saban said the biggest concern would be tight end Kurt Freitag, who suffered a turf toe.
“Those are always difficult, so we’ll probably need to further evaluate that,” Saban said.
TIDE STILL CAUTIOUS WITH JACKSON: Tide cornerback Eddie Jackson continues to improve each day as he recovers from spring knee surgery.
While Jackson didn’t scrimmage Saturday, Saban said he “probably could have,” but the Tide kept him out for precautionary reasons.
“I don’t think that’s a position that you can play if you’re not 100 percent,” Saban said. “And he’s certainly making great progress. Can do everything in practice, but I don’t think he’s ready to go out there and scrimmage football yet.”
During the media’s viewing period of practice, Jackson has been seen cutting and taking contact in drills. With Jackson limited, multiple players have received extra reps.
“Cyrus Jones has had a really good camp,” Saban said. “Bradley Sylve’s done a really good job so far. Those two guys have done a good job. Tony (Brown) and Marlon (Humphrey) are learning. Maurice Smith has done a good job so far. So they’re all getting plenty of turns. They’re all getting to play a lot.”
BROWN CLOSE TO RETURN: Saban announced that offensive lineman Leon Brown is close to returning to the field. Brown has missed all of preseason practice with a foot injury.
“Leon Brown will probably start doing some stuff this week or at least go through his acclimation period that he has to go through,” Saban said. “It takes four days to get them to where they can be in pads like everybody else. That’s probably a good thing and it’ll be helpful to him in terms of his rehab.”
Brown worked at right guard with the first offensive line group for much of spring practice. Once he gets healthy, Brown and Alphonse Taylor will compete for the starting job at right guard.
Brown’s return comes on the heels of Dominick Jackson’s ankle injury.
Sports Writer Marq Burnett: On Twitter @Marq_Burnett.