Duron Carter was once again absent from practice this afternoon as fall camp unofficially came to an end. While much pessimism still remains, Nick Saban did address his status in his post-practice press conference. Per Chase Goodbread:
Saban on Duron Carter: "I have some information, but at this point, I'll believe it when I see it."
Saban then concluded those remarks by jokingly urging reporters to read between the lines, and many -- both in the media and more casual observers -- have taken this as an indication that good news is imminent with Carter. Hopefully that is the case, but to be entirely certain there is nothing definite at this point to indicate anything one way or the other about his status. Take this latest bit of speculation with cautious optimism, and as always we'll update accordingly here at RBR until when a definite ruling is made.
Carter notwithstanding, the offensive line continues to generate a great deal of speculation in its own right. The Jones-Warmack-Vlachos-Steen-Fluker grouping still holds, but Cyrus Kouandjio continues to get reps with the first-team offensive line at left tackle with Barrett Jones moving back inside to right guard. I imagine the smart money is still on Barrett Jones starting the season at left tackle, but clearly the staff is giving Kouandjio serious consideration, and an in-season offensive line shuffle should come as no real surprise.
In other quick hitters, Blake Sims continues to take snaps solely at tailback, as he has done in recent days, so don't be surprised to see specific packages built around him this season. Kellen Williams rolled his ankle in practice a couple of days ago and he has missed some time, though by all accounts it is not a serious injury that will affect his long-term availability. Jesse Williams' precise role was defined somewhat by Saban today who noted he would play inside in the four-man front but would otherwise be a defensive end in the 3-4 alignment. Brandon Lewis was absent today due to a death in his family. Phelon Jones looks to be making a serious push for playing time and is strongly challenging DeMarcus Milliner for playing time.
In any event, today marked the unofficial end of fall camp, as attention will turn to Kent State beginning tomorrow afternoon. Many uncertainties still remain and can only be definitely resolved when the season starts, but for the most part it has seemingly been a successful camp. 'Bama has avoided serious injuries, A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims have drawn positive reviews, the offensive line looks solidified, and the defensive line looks to be at least somewhat ahead of what most expected. It's still not a perfect team and there are still a fair amount of question marks in key areas moving forward, but by all accounts fall camp went as well as could have been reasonably expected.
'Bama will return to the practice fields tomorrow afternoon and will begin preparations for Kent State.