TUSCALOOSA — Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and quarterback AJ McCarron each suffered injuries Saturday night in a win over Mississippi State, but both were at practice Monday.
Cooper (ankle sprain) wasn't going through drills during the media viewing period, but he was dressed out in his regular white No. 9 jersey. He wasn't in a black non-contact jersey.
McCarron (back bruise) participated in a passing drill during the viewing period. He was not wearing the knee brace he began using after bruising his knee against Missouri. He removed the brace shortly after the start of the Mississippi State game.
Alabama coach Nick Saban is expecting both players to be available Saturday when the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide plays at No. 5 LSU.
"We look for (Cooper and McCarron) to progress pretty rapidly through the week and be OK, probably even by tomorrow," Saban said Monday afternoon.
If you don't like it when Alabama runs up the middle, you've got a powerful Tide supporter on your side: Terry Saban, the wife of the coach.
When asked about that strategy Monday, Nick Saban smiled and said, "You kind of sound like my wife."
"She grumbles at night when I go home because we run the ball up the middle," he said. "I think direct runs, which some people may say running the ball up the middle is a bad thing, but we package a lot of our plays and when we get the look we want, our offensive line likes to be physical and aggressive. Our backs do a good job of running the ball inside. We've made some explosive runs running the ball inside."
When Alabama faced LSU last year, the Tide had an open date the previous Saturday. That gave the Crimson Tide two weeks to think about the Bengal Tigers, and Saban indicated Monday that wasn't a good thing.
"If there was anything I would say about last year's game, I think there is such a thing as almost being too ramped up for a game," he said. "Everybody has a place and a recipe and a formula for how they play their best. That's obviously the goal every week you play.
"When you play in games like this, everybody would say it's really critical you play your best in a game like this. But the formula and the recipe for what that is doesn't really change. Even though you'd like to change it, and put a little more sugar in the cake to make it taste better, it usually makes it taste worse."
Alabama doesn't have a bye week before the LSU game this time, but the Bengal Tigers do.
Also, by the way, this is the second week in a row Saban has made a cake reference in a news conference. Last week, it was his mother's carrot cake.