Injuries to Watch – Week 4

Published on Thursday, 9/19/13, at 12:54 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

FRIDAY UPDATE: Ash upgraded to ‘probable.’ Texas QB David Ash remains a question mark (concussion) this week vs. Kansas St. In a 44-23 home loss to Ole Miss, back-up Case McCoy completed 24-of-36 passes for 196 yards and one TD without an interception.  Also, the Longhorns’ best WR Mike Davis is ‘questionable’ due to a sprained ankle. Davis has hauled in 20 catches for 222 yards and four TDs in just three games.

–Mississippi St. senior quarterback Tyler Russell is ‘doubtful’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Troy. Russell threw for 2,897 yards with a 24/10 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season, but he might have a difficult time getting his starting job back. In his absence, Dak Prescott has played well. Prescott provides more of a running dimension, rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s heartbreaking loss at Auburn. He completed 15-of-28 passes for 213 yards on The Plains.

–Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson is ‘questionable’ vs. San Jose St. due to a strained hamstring. Nelson is an excellent scrambler so a hamstring issue could diminish his effectiveness more than it would most other QBs. He has rushed for 221 yards and three TDs in leading the Gophers to a 3-0 start. Nelson has completed 21-of-41 passes for 245 yards with a ½ TD-INT ratio.

–Rutgers QB Gary Nova has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. Arkansas after suffering a concussion last week. Nova, who has a 6/2 TD-INT ratio through three games, practiced on a limited basis Tuesday. But RU head coach Kyle Flood doesn’t sound too confident that Nova will play. He told CBS New York, “I think [the ‘probable’ status] means he has a chance. He didn’t do a lot today, but we were pleased with what he did. I don’t know if there’s any certainty at all. Those are decisions that I don’t make. The medical staff makes them, so they give me an idea of what they think he can do and then we try to do it. So we’ll see how he feels.” Fortunately for Flood, back-up QB Chas Dodd has plenty of experience. Dodd has started 15 career games for the Scarlet Knights, posting a 21/14 TD-INT ratio. RU will be without starting LB Jamal Merrell again this week. Merrell, who was the team’s leading returning tackler, is dealing with a kidney issue.

–Arkansas QB Brandon Allen is considered ‘doubtful’ at Rutgers after bruising his shoulder in last week’s non-covering win over Southern Miss. Iowa transfer A.J. Derby will most likely get the starting nod in the Razorbacks’ first road game in the northeast since 1940. Derby completed 4-of-6 passes for 36 yards against the Golden Eagles.

–Texas A&M true freshman WR Ricky Seals-Jones will undergo knee surgery Friday. The Aggies’ star recruit in the 2013 class might take a medical redshirt. Seals-Jones had three receptions for 84 yards and one TD in the opener against Rice. He has been limited to just a few plays since then. No final decision has been made as of yet.

–Missouri will be without its leading tackler the last two seasons for the first half Saturday at Indiana. Andrew Wilson, a senior LB and co-captain, will not play for the first 30 minutes after getting flagged for targeting Toledo WR Bernard Reedy with a forearm above the shoulders in the third quarter of a 38-23 victory.

–Southern Cal RB Silas Redd has missed the team’s first three games and is ‘doubtful’ vs. Utah St. Redd led the Trojans with 905 rushing yards and nine TDss last year, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. (Quick Stat: Utah St., a 6.5-point underdog, is a remarkable 16-2 ATS in its last 18 games as a road ‘dog.)

–Oregon St. RB Storm Woods is ‘out’ at San Diego St. after sustaining a concussion in last week’s 51-48 overtime win at Utah. Woods is averaging only 3.4 YPC, but he has a pair of rushing TDs to his credit. Also, he has 17 catches for 163 yards.

–Vanderbilt officially announced the dismissal of WR Chris Boyd from the team on Tuesday. Boyd took a misdemeanor plea deal calling for one year of probation for his role in helping cover up an alleged rape this past summer. Boyd made 50 catches for 774 yards and five TDs last season for the Commodores. Also, LB Chase Garnham remains ‘out’ and won’t play at UMass.

–Houston QB David Piland (concussion) is ‘doubtful’ vs. Rice at Reliant Stadium. True freshman John O’Korn is expected to make his first career start, but he has performed well in the Cougars’ first two games. O’Korn has connected on 34-of-46 passes (73.9%) for 340 yards and three TDs without an interception.

–Florida International obviously has issues. When an FBS team loses to Bethune-Cookman at home by 21 points, things clearly aren’t good. Making matters worse, QB Jake Medlock is ‘doubtful’ (concussion) at Louisville. Medlock had a 13/2 TD-INT ratio last season. E.J. Hilliard is expected to start against the Cardinals. The Panthers, who are 0-3 both SU and ATS, already lost four starters for the season (academics) in August.

–After missing back-to-back games due to a concussion suffered in the season opener, Ball St. star RB Jahwan Edwards is ‘probable’ to return at Eastern Michigan. Edwards rushed for 49 yards and one TD on 14 carries in the win over Illinois St. Edwards produced 1,410 rushing yards and 14 TDs in 2012.

–Keep an eye on how Maryland’s secondary performs vs. West Va. The Terrapins lost their best cover corner Dexter McDougle to a season-ending injury in a 32-21 win at UConn. McDougle already had three interceptions this year. They are also without their other starting corner, Jeremiah Johnson, who remains out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

–Toledo QB Terrance Owens is ‘questionable’ at Central Michigan with a leg injury. Owens has only one TD pass and has been intercepted four times.

–LSU starting safety Craig Loston, a second-team All-SEC selection in 2012, is ‘questionable’ (leg) vs. Auburn.

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