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Spring Practice Returns to Tuscaloosa

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After returning from the week-long break, spring practice has resumed in Tuscaloosa.The team returned to the practice fields on Monday in shorts and helmets, and today took to the field for the first time in full pads this spring. This upcoming Friday and Saturday will mark the first back-to-back practice sessions of the spring.

Perhaps the biggest development to date has been that Blake Sims injured his hip over the break while playing in a pick-up basketball game. For what it's worth the injury does not seem seem overly serious and it is not expected that he will miss any significant time long-term, but even so hip injuries are never to be taken lightly and he has done very little in the two practice sessions this week. The odds seem good that Sims will return before the A-Day game, but even so it looks like he will miss valuable practice time.

For Alabama it's not welcome news, but nevertheless this is a bigger loss for Sims than it is for 'Bama. With Eddie Lacy likely to miss all of spring practice and no clear pecking order in his wake, coming into the spring the opportunities were abundant for the other tailbacks on campus, namely Jalston Fowler, T.J. Yeldon, Dee Hart, and the aforementioned Sims. By missing valuable practice time, Sims is largely forfeiting his opportunity to solidify his position in the tailback rotation, and the concern only grows greater that in the end he will simply be a great athlete who could never find an position.

On the offensive line, Barrett Jones continues to take reps at the center position, and it's relatively clear that he will be the starting center as long as Cyrus Kouandjio can stay healthy at left tackle. Finding a backup center is still an ongoing search, however, and to that end both Issac Luatua and Ryan Kelly have taken snaps at center. With Kellen Williams and Chad Lindsay battling for much of last season for the back-up job, it's likely a toss-up at this point between several players.

Ronald Carswell and Michael Bowman remain absent from practice, as expected, though there have been some rumblings that Duron Carter may actually return to the practice fields sometime later this week. Cris Carter was in Tuscaloosa earlier this afternoon, per Alex Scarborough, and he reiterated that his son was not practicing but that they were "working on it," whatever that entails. Given the history here, I wouldn't put to much stock in this one just yet and the prudent observer would have to see Carter actually on the field come September before they would fully believe it. There is however a very small window of hope for Carter, simply judging by his continued presence on the roster, so perhaps something could come of it. Long way until September, though.

In other quick hitters, Chance Warmack has been fighting through a groin injury, but apparently returned to health over the break. Xzavier Dickson has bulked up nicely, and looks to have the size to be a legitimate option at the Jack position on run downs. Jabriel Washington continues to work with the cornerbacks, but he still needs to add weight. Arie Kouandjio remains out with a knee injury. C.J. Mosley has been participating fully after suffering a grotesque hip dislocation in the BCS National Championship Game. Barrett and Harrison Jones spent their spring break on a five-day mission trip to Nicaragua.

Alabama will return to the practice fields on Friday afternoon for the fourth of fifteen spring practice sessions.