Injuries to Watch – Week 9

Published on Wednesday, 10/23/13, at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Friday, 10/25/13, at 12:11 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Kentucky QB Max Smith will get the starting nod Thursday at Mississippi St. Jalen Whitlow sprained his ankle in a 48-7 loss to Alabama two weeks ago and is ‘doubtful’ against the Bulldogs. Smith is more of a pocket passer, while Whitlow is a dual-threat option who averages 4.9 yards per carry and has three rushing touchdowns. Smith, a third-year sophomore who had eight TD passes before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 3 last year, has a 5/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013.

ULM senior QB Kolton Browning was thought to be out for the season with a torn quad. However, he has made a remarkable recovery and will get the start for the Warhawks on Saturday vs. Ga. St. This is a huge development because Browning was the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2012.

Tulane QB Nick Montana (10/4 TD-INT ratio) has been downgraded to ‘doubtful’ Saturday vs. Tulsa and will likely miss a second straight game.

Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is ‘out’ Saturday at Texas A&M. Carta-Samuels, who has a 10/7 TD-INT ratio this season, left last week’s 31-27 win over Georgia with a knee injury in the first half. After Wednesday’s practice in Nashville, Vandy head coach James Franklin refused to rule his starting QB out, saying he practiced on a limited basis and would have a chance to play if continues to progress. FRIDAY UPDATE: As was initially thought earlier in the week (perhaps some gamesmanship from Franklin on Wednesday), Carta-Samuels is ‘out.’ Patton Robinette, a redshirt freshman, replaced Carta-Samuels and had a TD run early in the fourth quarter of the comeback win over UGA. Robinette might will make his first career start against the Aggies.

Maryland might have been the biggest overall loser coming out of Week 8. The Terrapins got smashed 34-10 at Wake Forest and lost two of their best players to broken legs. WR Stefon Diggs is done for the season after producing 912 all-purpose yards in the first seven games. Also, second-leading receiver Deon Long (32 catches for 489 yards) is out for the year. Both of these guys are future NFL players that will be sorely missed. UPDATE: Also, starting QB C.J. Brown is ‘out’ with an ankle injury and Caleb Rowe will get the start under center. Furthermore, RB Brandon Ross is ‘out.’ Ouch! Brown & Ross’s absences prompted books to move Clemson from a 14-point favorite to 16.5. 

Boise St. senior QB Joe Southwick (11/5 TD-INT ratio) is out for at least the rest of the regular season after breaking his ankle in a non-covering home win over Nevada last weekend. After Southwick went out on the game’s first play from scrimmage, back-up Grant Hedrick completed 15-of-18 throws for 150 yards. Hedrick ran eight times for 115 yards and two TDs. He’ll make his first career start Friday at BYU.

Va. Tech CB Antone Exum is hoping to make his season debut Saturday vs. Duke. Exum tore his ACL in January and has been upgraded to ‘probable’ against the Blue Devils. Exum, a second-team All-ACC selection in 2012, had five interceptions and 16 passes broken up last year. The Hokies are coming off an open date.

UCLA’s leading rusher Jordon James has missed back-to-back games with a sprained ankle and is ‘questionable’  ‘doubtful’ Saturday at Oregon. James has rushed for 463 yards and five TDs, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Chris Foster, UCLA’s beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, tweeted Thursday morning that James “still had a slight limp and seem another week away” from playing. FRIDAY UPDATE: Making things even more difficult for QB Brett Hundley will be the likely absence of three starting offensive linemen. Torian White was lost for the season three weeks ago and now Conor McDermott and Simon Goins are both ‘doubtful’ against the Ducks.

Oregon speedster De’Anthony Thomas is ‘probable’ to return Saturday vs. UCLA. He hasn’t played since suffering a high ankle sprain in a blowout win over California back on Sept. 28. In the Ducks’ first three games, Thomas had 512 all-purpose yards and six rushing scores.

Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri is out for the season with a knee injury sustained in a 52-0 win over Arkansas. Sunseri is the only ‘Bama player in the secondary that has started the first seven games. Landon Collins, a true sophomore and former five-star recruit, will take Sunseri’s place in the starting lineup.

Washington QB Keith Price is ‘questionable’ has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Cal due to a thumb injury sustained against Stanford nearly three weeks ago. The Huskies are coming off a brutal three-game stretch, all losses, at Stanford, vs. Oregon and at Arizona St.

Missouri senior CB E.J. Gaines missed last week’s win over Florida with a quad issue. He remains ‘questionable’ Saturday vs. South Carolina.

Dylan Thompson will get the start at Missouri for the Gamecocks. Connor Shaw might be available as the back-up, but Thompson will get the start nonetheless. Shaw hurt his knee late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss at Tennessee. Thompson has plenty of experience, throwing for 310 yards and three TDs without an interception in a 27-17 win at Clemson last season.

Ga. Tech LB Anthony Harrell is done for the rest of 2013 after hurting his leg in last week’s 56-0 home win over Syracuse. Harrell had just taken over as the starter at middle linebacker and had four tackles, including one for a loss, against the Orange.

Auburn starting safety Josh Hosley is out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee at practice last Thursday.

Kent St. QB Collin Reardon (10/4 TD-INT ratio) is ‘questionable’ has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. Buffalo. Reardon couldn’t play in a 38-21 loss at South Alabama due to a leg injury.

USC could be without two key offensive weapons vs. Utah. WR Marquise Lee (knee) and RB Tre Madden (hamstring) are both considered ‘questionable.’ Madden has rushed for a team-high 611 yards and three TDs, while Lee has 32 receptions for 403 yards and one TD.

Oregon St. TE Connor Hamlett will miss a second straight game vs. Stanford after having his knee scoped last week. Hamlett has made 25 catches for 198 yards and four TDs.

After missing last week’s home loss to Minnesota, Northwestern QB/WR Kain Colter will play Saturday at Iowa. However, star RB Venric Mark remains out with an ankle injury. Mark has only played one full game this year in a 40-30 home loss to Ohio St. He left the season opener against Cal in the first half and did the same at Wisconsin two weeks ago.

Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez (turf toe) has missed three consecutive games. Martinez (9/1 TD-INT ratio) remains a question mark has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Saturday’s game at Minnesota.

UNLV star RB Tim Cornett is ‘doubtful’ at Nevada after leaving last week’s 38-14 loss at Fresno St. with a leg injury. Cornett has rushed for 709 yards and nine TDs this season, averaging 5.3 YPC. Cornett has also hauled in 19 receptions for 91 yards. The Rebels are 6.5 or seven-point ‘dogs against the Wolf Pack.

FSU running back James Wilder Jr. is ‘questionable’ ‘out’vs. N.C. St. after suffering a concussion in Saturday’s easy blowout win at Clemson. Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell is expected to get the start at QB for the Wolfpack. Mitchell has missed five straight games with a foot injury.

Miami WR Phillip Dorsett is out indefinitely after sustaining a knee injury in last Thursday’s 27-23 win at North Carolina. Dorsett is UM’s second-leading receiver with 13 catches for 272 yards and two TDs.

Toledo RB David Fluellen (leg) is ‘questionable’ Saturday at Bowling Green Fluellen is the nation’s third-leading rusher with 999 rushing yards.

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