After all the worrying and all the gnashing of teeth, Jarrett Lee returned to practice after missing only two days. Still, like I said before, any missed time hurts this kid. He is not a veteran like Brett Helms or Charles Alexander, who have both missed practice time due to minor injuries, and who don't really need to solidify their standing on the team.
He returned to two-a-days this morning, and looked pretty sharp according to cgisclair. My take on the QB situation is this. I think the target is Auburn. Auburn's our first SEC game and our first apparently really tough game as well. It's a race to week 4 to determine who is going to be the primary quarterback for this team.
In the opening games against App State, North Texas, and Troy, the quarterbacks are going to be rotated, and each is going to be given a chance. The quarterbacks are close enough in practice that the ultimate winner of the QB battle will be determined by who performs better under game-pressure situations.
I think it's no secret that Jarrett Lee throws a prettier ball and has a livelier arm than Andrew Hatch. By reports, Hatch is a better runner, and is also a little better at making the decisions of who to throw the ball to. Ultimately, though, it's going to be a question of who can handle the pressure. Who can make a mistake and forget about it. Who can take a hit, get up, and make the play the next down.
We aren't going to know that for a while, and depending on how things go against Auburn, it may be something we don't ultimately settle until well into the year, if at all.
In other injury news, Darry Beckwith and Jacob Cutrera, our two middle linebackers, have been out with what is characterized as minor injuries. Our depth does not allow us to lose linebackers without feeling the hurt, but both should return soon. Other veterans have missed some practice, such as Ciron Black, Cousin Kirston, Brett Helms, and Charles Alexander. Freshman safety Stefoin Francois has missed the last few days of practice due to a disciplinary issue that has not been publicly detailed. We do not know what his future holds at this point, but I am hopeful that it is not serious enough to jeopardize his spot on the team.
Note: ATVS apologizes for the relatively unprolific week the blog is having. It's been a busy week at work, and we were traveling last weekend so I didn't do a lot of work on planning what to write this week. The result has been a relatively unproductive week, blog-wise.