This week, Keith Brown plans on being back in the mix when the 8-0 Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Starkville for an SEC matchup with Mississippi State.
His biggest challenge? Matching teammate D.J. Hall – who had 11 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown against the Aggies.
“I want to get back out there, which I am right now,” Brown said after practicing fully Tuesday. “I just plan on catching the same amount of balls that DJ did.”
Before Saturday, Alabama hadn’t had a passing touchdown since its 31-3 victory over Florida on Oct. 1 – not coincidentally, the game where leading wideout Tyrone Prothro was lost to a broken leg.
Against Utah State, Tide passers threw four touchdowns – one apiece to Hall, fellow wideout Ezekial Knight, tailback Glen Coffee and fullback Le’Ron McClain.
While he wasn’t completely happy on the sidelines, Brown was pleased the passing game found its groove without him.
“It was exciting,” said Brown, who is the Tide’s second-leading receiver with 21 catches for 386 yards and three touchdowns through seven games. “Seeing them catching passes, the other guys who really haven’t been in there a lot, getting catches and touchdown passes.”
Seeing Brown on the sidelines Saturday came as something of a surprise; he limped off the field late in the victory over Tennessee, but his name wasn’t mentioned in injury reports before Bama's homecoming game against Utah state.
Brown said he was hurt when a Tennessee player was blocked into him, swinging his legs into Brown’s thigh.
Had it been an SEC game, Brown could have played. But Alabama doctors chose caution over production.
“To be honest, I don’t think I could have played, but I was willing to play,” he said. “The doctors hold all that information, and they told me just to suit up and not to play. I just stood out there, supported my team and helped the guys that weren’t used to being in there.”