Alabama fans were able to exhale after head coach Nick Saban updated the press on freshman quarterback Blake Barnett during Wednesday press conference. Media members and fans alike were in a frenzy prior to Wednesday, due to Barnett’s absence from practice. While he chose not to talk about it, the California native posted photos and videos of himself in an emergency room on Instagram and Snapchat. It seems that he’s been getting some blood work done since Monday, according to a title in one of his videos,”multiple blood transfusions.”
Barnett checked out of the hospital Wednesday after some precautionary test.
Coach Saban said Barnett is ill, but he doesn’t think that it is anything serious.
“I can’t get into the specifics of what’s wrong with him, but he wasn’t feeling well, decided to admit him to the hospital for some tests,” Saban said. “They found out what the issue is. He’s out. We’re very hopeful that he’ll be fine. He probably won’t be back at practice for another day or two, which kind of puts him out this week. But we don’t think it’s anything serious or anything that’s a prolonged illness, but we took a lot of precaution to make sure that he was OK.”
The former five-star recruit and top pocket passer according to ESPN will miss a few more practice sessions; however, it does not mean that Alabama will redshirt Barnett.
“I don’t think missing two days of practice this week will really have anything to do with that,” Saban said. “We’re developing him as a player, and if we develop him to the point that we think he’s gonna give us the best chance to win somewhere down the road, then we’d probably play him. If that doesn’t present itself then we’re certainly not interested in trying to waste a year if he’s not gonna play enough to help his development.”
Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.