Injuries to Watch – Week 12
Published on Thursday, 11/14/15, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
UCLA running back Jordon James will start Friday vs. Washington. James has missed four of the last five games with an ankle injury. He tried to come back two weeks ago vs. Colorado but was held to eight yards on six carries. Jim Mora Jr. chose to rest James in last week’s 31-26 win at Arizona. With OT Simon Goines ruled ‘out’ Thursday, the Bruins will be without three starting offensive linemen but it’s been that way for the last three games.
Florida lost a 10th player to a season-ending injury when starting LB Antonio Morris tore his meniscus in a 34-17 home loss to Vanderbilt. Morrison is the seventh starter to go down for the year and with OT D.J. Humphries also ‘out,’ UF will be without at least eight starters Saturday at South Carolina. QB Tyler Murphy is expected to be a game-time decision due to a sore shoulder. If Murphy can’t go, Skyler Mornhinweg (yes, Marty’s son) will get the starting nod. Mornhinweg, a redshirt freshman, has never taken a collegiate snap. The Gators are double-digit underdogs (+13.5 as of Thursday) for just the second time under Will Muschamp.
Mississippi St. could be without two of its most important players for Saturday’s home game vs. Alabama. QB Dak Prescott is ‘questionable’ with an arm injury. Prescott has rushed for a team-high 722 yards and 10 TDs. However, the Bulldogs have a veteran back-up in Tyler Russell, who had a 24/10 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2012. LB Deontae Skinner missed Saturday’s 51-41 loss at Texas A&M with a back injury. Skinner has made a team-high 50 tackles to go with 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. He remains a question mark vs. the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
Baylor’s national-title hopes took a big hit when WR Tevin Reese dislocated his wrist in last Thursday’s 41-12 win over Oklahoma. Reese is out for the rest of the regular season but might be able to get back for a bowl game. He had 33 receptions for 824 yards and eight touchdowns. Also, back-up RB Glasco Martin (319 rushing yards, five TDs) is ‘doubtful’ vs. Texas Tech due to a sprained ankle.
BYU will be without its second-leading receiver for the rest of 2013. Mitch Mathews suffered a shoulder injury in a 27-17 loss at Wisconsin. Mathews finished the year with 23 receptions for 397 yards and four TDs.
Northwestern senior RB Venric Mark is out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. Mark will reportedly apply for a medical redshirt. He only played one full game this year in THE Bad Beat of 2013 when the Wildcats lost a 40-30 decision to Ohio St. His only other playing time came in the first half of the next game at Wisconsin and the first half of the season opener at California. Mark’s injury has been the main cause of Northwestern’s woes this year. He had 1,366 rushing yards and 15 total TDs in 2012. Northwestern’s leading rusher Treyvon Green has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Michigan. Green has rushed for 612 yards and nine TDs but a leg injury won’t prevent him from starting against the Wolverines. Pat Fitzgerald’s best pass rusher Tyler Scott and WR Tony Jones are both practiced Thursday and were upgraded to ‘probable.’ Jones has a team-high 39 receptions for 492 yards and four TDs. Neither player had practiced since getting injured in the loss at Nebraska two weeks ago.
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman is ‘doubtful’ Saturday at Wisconsin with a sprained ankle. Coleman has rushed for a team-high 958 yards and 12 TDs while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. The Hoosiers’ secondary is also dealing with health concerns, as Mark Murphy, Tim Bennett and Drew Hardin are ‘questionable.’ Murphy is the most important player in that trio. He is the starting free safety that was IU’s fourth-leading tackler in 2012.
Texas got out of Morgantown alive with an overtime win over West Va., but the victory was bittersweet due to the loss of two key players for the rest of the season. RB Johnathan Gray tore his Achilles and DT Chris Whaley injured his knee. Gray had rushed for a team-high 780 yards and four TDs. Whaley finished 2013 with five tackles for loss, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns.
Oklahoma St. WR Josh Stewart is ‘questionable’ at Texas due to a leg injury. Stewart has a team-high 40 receptions for 510 yards and two TDs. Also, senior starting safety Shamiel Gary is a question mark after missing the win over Kansas with a sore knee.
Va. Tech might be short-handed in the secondary for Saturday’s home game vs. Maryland. Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum are nursing sprained ankles and considered ‘questionable.’ We’ve harped on the Terrapins’ injuries all year and a slew of players are question marks this week, in addition to the season-ending injuries suffered by the team’s two best WRs and two best secondary players.
Rutgers RB Paul James has missed four straight games but is set to return for Saturday’s home game vs. Cincinnati. Before sustaining a leg injury, James was one of the nation’s top rushers. He ran for 573 yards and six TDs in RU’s first four games, averaging 7.3 YPC.
Ole Miss RB Jeff Scott was expected to return last week vs. Arkansas but was scratched after warm-ups. However, the Rebels’ leading rusher practiced Tuesday and “looked good” according to Hugh Freeze. Scott will play vs. Troy but CB Charles Sawyer is ‘out.’ As for the Trojans, they might get red zone and short-yardage QB Deon Anthony back. He missed last week’s loss at UL-Lafayette with a sprained ankle.
Georgia WR Chris Conley is expected to be a game-time decision Saturday at Auburn. Conley has 30 catches for 418 yards and four TDs. TE Arthur Lynch (bruised ribs) missed Saturday’s 45-6 win over Appalachian St., but he has practiced all week in a non-contract jersey and is expected to start on The Plains.
Nevada QB Cody Fajardo (11/2 TD-INT) is ‘questionable’ vs. San Jose St. due to a foot injury.
Nebraska fears that QB Taylor Martinez (foot) could be done for the season.
West Va. QB Clint Trickett is ‘out’ Saturday at Kansas.
Unless something changes in the next 48 hours, it doesn’t appear as if Florida St. QB Jameis Winston is going to be suspended. Word leaked late yesterday afternoon that Winston is a potential suspect in a sexual assault complaint that dates back to last December. Seminoles’ back-up QB Jacob Coker had knee surgery earlier this week and is most likely done for the season.
Oregon St. TE Caleb Smith and LB D.J. Alexander are both listed as ‘questionable’ at Arizona St., but there is optimism in Corvallis that both might return. Smith has 17 receptions for 229 yards and three TDs. Bettors should check their status later in the week.