Alabama holds open practice for Fan Day

Christopher Walsh

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama football team held it’s annual Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“It's a little bit unusual, the way we sort of changed the rules that we're not a little more down the road in practice before we have this,” Nick Saban said. “This is probably the first time we've ever had it where we're in shorts and helmets because we're going through the acclimation period, which I think, incidentally, is really, really good for players. It's probably good for player safety. It's good for the players to be able to step their way back into football in terms of the gear that they wear, the amount of contact that you have and those type of things.

“There's a lot of opportunity for a lot of players on our team at a lot of positions. We're trying to get some of the young players on the team to take advantage of these circumstances to sort of develop the consistency they need to be able to do their job on a consistent basis and develop the respect and trust of their teammates.”

With fans in the stands for the only open practice of fall camp, Alabama worked in hot partly-cloudy conditions, with the temperature 89 degrees and a heat index of 97.

Alabama had a heavy rotation of players on both sides, including quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa sharing time with the first-team offense.

The offensive line remained the same as the end of spring practices, going from left to right: Jonah Williams, Lester Cotton Sr., Ross Pierschbacher, Jedrick Wills Jr. and Alex Leatherwood.

The second unit had Scott Lashley, Deonte Brown, Chris Owens, Joshua Casher and Matt Womack. Womack started last season at right tackle, but missed the spring after having surgery for a fractured foot.

Defensively, Shyheim Carter was working with the first team at cornerback, but slide over to star (nickel defensive back) with Saivion Smith inserted. Getting work at both spots as a reserve was true freshman Patrick Surtain Jr., with Jared Mayden also lining up in multiple places.

Although Saban said offensive lineman Eyabi Anoma (jaw) and defensive back Nigel Knott (foot/ankle) wore black no-contact jerseys on Friday, both initially practiced in their regular white and crimson on Saturday, but then changed into black.

Sophomore linebacker Dylan Moses had to be helped to the locker room while practice was still ongoing. There was no official word from the team, but it may have been a heat-related issue.