Injuries to Watch – Week 5
Published on Thursday, 9/26/13, at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Florida senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley was lost for the season when he tore his ACL at Tuesday’s practice on a non-contact play. Easley was en route to garnering first-team All-American honors and a spot early in the first round of the NFL Draft. His loss will certainly hurt but if there’s a bright side, UF’s defensive line has incredible depth. This injury comes on the heels of starting QB Jeff Driskel’s season-ender in the win over Tennessee. Driskel underwent successful surgery on his broken tibia Wednesday and will most likely be granted a medical redshirt. Tyler Murphy, a junior who was a two-star recruit and saw five different QBs take snaps before him during his career, played well against the Vols. He will make his first career road start Saturday at Kentucky.
UPDATE: Allen upgrade to ‘probable,’ expected to start. Arkansas QB Brandon Allen, who has a 5/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, sat out last week’s 28-24 loss at Rutgers. As of Thursday morning, Allen remained ‘doubtful’ (bruised shoulder) for Saturday’s home date vs. Texas A&M. Due to his uncertain status, there still wasn’t a line available. A.J. Derby is expected to make his second start for the Razorbacks. Derby completed 14-of-26 passes for 137 yards and one TD without an interception in the loss to the Scarlet Knights.
Stanford safety Ed Reynolds, a third-team All-American last season, will miss the first half of Saturday’s game at Washington St. (in Seattle) for violating the NCAA’s targeting rule against Arizona St. The Cardinal will be without All-American OG David Yankey for the entire 60 minutes. Yankey has temporarily left the team to deal with a personal matter.
Arizona St. lost three defensive players to season-ending injuries in the loss at Stanford. The Sun Devils will be without DE Junior Onyeali and nose tackle Jaxon Hood, who had six and three sacks last year, respectively.
Ole Miss will have three players back for Saturday’s trip to Alabama. The Rebels, who have covered the number in four consecutive trips to Tuscaloosa, will have WR Vince Sanders, CB Charles Sawyer and LB Denzel Nkemdiche in uniform. Sanders was the team’s second-leading receiver in 2012, but he hasn’t played yet this year after breaking his collarbone in early August. Sawyer missed the last game due to suspension. Nkemdiche, who led the team in tackles last season, hasn’t played since spraining his knee in the opener at Vandy. Nkemdiche told the media after Wednesday’s practice that he’s about “86, 87 percent” healthy.
TCU will most likely be without DE Devonte Fields vs. SMU. He is listed as ‘doubtful’ with a foot injury. Fields was the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 when he had 10 sacks. Also, starting TE Griffin Gilbert is ‘out.’
BYU running back Jamaal Williams is ‘out’ vs. Middle Tennessee and possibly beyond after suffering a concussion in a 20-13 home loss vs. Utah. Williams rushed for 378 yards in the Cougars’ first three games, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
San Jose St. star WR Noel Grigsby hurt his knee at last Wednesday’s practice and couldn’t play in the 43-24 loss at Minnesota. Grigsby is out for an indefinite period of time. He had 10 receptions for 106 yards and two TDs in the Spartans’ first two games. Grigsby was a first-team All-WAC selection in 2012 when he hauled in 82 catches for 1,307 yards and nine TDs.
Minnesota QB Philip Nelson (hamstring) and RB Donnell Kirkwood (ankle) are both ‘doubtful’ vs. Iowa. Gophers’ back-up QB Mitch Leidner is expected to get his second career start. The redshirt freshman rushed for four TDs in leading his team to victory vs. San Jose St.
Oregon St. RB Storm Woods (concussion) will miss a second straight game Saturday vs. Colorado. Beavers’ WR Brandin Cooks, who leads the nation with 43 receptions for 639 yards and seven TDs, is ‘probable’ despite a quad issue.
After missing back-to-back games, Ball St. RB Jahwan Edwards returned to the lineup in last week’s 51-20 win at Eastern Michigan. Edwards appeared to be 100 percent as he ran for 81 yards and three TDs on just 15 carries. The Cardinals, who are 3-1 against the spread, play host to Toledo this weekend.
The injury news is a mixed bag for East Carolina following its open date that was preceded by a 15-10 home loss to Va. Tech. Junior nose tackle Terry Williams has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Williams, a two-year starter, had made nine tackles and recorded one-half sack through three games. Jeremy Grove was ECU’s leading tackler in 2012 when he earned second-team All C-USA honors. The inside linebacker will miss a second straight game Saturday at North Carolina due to a chest injury. On a more positive note, the Pirates’ other inside LB in its 3-4 scheme, senior Kyle Tudor, is set to return after missing the loss to the Hokies. Tudor was ECU’s fourth-leading tackler in 2012.
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis is ‘doubtful’ due to a concussion sustained in a 59-3 loss at Iowa. Davis has hauled in 15 receptions for 219 yards and two TDs this year.
After going on a twitter rant complaining about playing time and a lack of touches, don’t be surprised if Vanderbilt RB Brian Kimbrow is riding the pine vs. UAB. Also, Vandy starting OT Andrew Bridges is ‘doubtful’ due to an undisclosed injury. The Commodores, who are 20-point favorites vs. the Blazers, are 7-2 ATS as home favorites on James Franklin’s watch.
Rutgers RB Paul James is second in the nation in rushing, but he will miss at least the next two games due to a leg injury. That includes RU’s pivotal road assignment at Louisville.
UAB will be without both of its starting safeties (Calvin James and Jay Davis) at Vandy due to injuries.