Injuries to Watch – Week 6

Published on Wednesday, 10/2/13, at 10:50 a.m. Eastern.
Updated on Wednesday, 10/2/13, at 6:47 p.m. Eastern

By Brian Edwards

Texas quarterback David Ash has been ruled ‘out’ of Thursday’s game at IowaState due to lingering concussion symptoms. Ash sustained his first concussion in a 40-21 loss at BYU in Week 2. After sitting out a loss to Ole Miss, he returned to start in a 31-21 win over Kansas St. However, Ash suffered a second head injury against the Wildcats and didn’t return in the second half. This means Case McCoy will get the starting nod for the second time this season. Ash has seven touchdown passes compared to two interceptions this season, while McCoy has one TD pass and hasn’t been intercepted. Also, Texas’s best wide receiver, Mike Davis, is ‘questionable’ against the Cylcones. Davis sprained his ankle in the loss to Ole Miss and didn’t play against Kansas St. In the first three games, Davis had 20 receptions for 223 yards and four TDs.

Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen returned to the lineup in last week’s 45-33 loss to Texas A&M. Allen threw for 282 yards and three TDs against the Aggies, but he was picked off twice. The Razorbacks took the cash as 13.5-point home underdogs. Allen missed a 28-24 loss at Rutgers the previous week due to a bruised shoulder. He was considered ‘doubtful’ when I filed last week’s injury report early Thursday, only to be upgraded to ‘probable’ Friday night. As always, make sure to check twitter (search the player in question) on Friday and/or Saturday for late-breaking injury information.

Despite missing the last three games after leaving the season opener vs. Oklahoma State with a concussion, Mississippi St. senior QB Tyler Russell is expected to start Saturday night vs. LSU. The only reason this is a bit of a surprise is because back-up Dak Prescott has been so effective. Prescott has completed 55.3 percent of his throws for 709 yards with a 3/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has done his best work with his legs, rushing for a team-high 215 yards and five TDs while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Russell is a three-year starter who led the Bulldogs to eight wins last season with a 24/8 TD-INT ratio. Dan Mullen hasn’t been afraid to use two QBs in the past and I suspect we’ll see both Russell and Prescott against the Tigers, who are favored by 9.5 points.

Georgia sophomore RB Todd Gurley didn’t practice Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday because of a sprained ankle. Gurley sustained the injury in the first half of a 44-41 win over LSU and did not return. As of Wednesday, he was listed as ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s game at Tennessee. Gurley has rushed for 450 yards and five scores, averaging 6.3 YPC. If Gurley can’t go, I’m not sure bettors need to downgrade UGA much even though Gurley might be en route to earning first-team All-American honors. That’s because fellow sophomore Keith Marshall is a beast who averaged 6.5 YPC in 2012.

Northwestern star RB and special-teams dynamo Venric Mark is ‘probable’ vs. Ohio St. Mark has missed three consecutive games with a sprained ankle suffered in a 44-30 season-opening win at California. The speedster was a second-team All Big Ten selection as a RB in 2012 and earned first-team All-American honors on special teams after returning three punts for TDs.

Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas is ‘doubtful’ at Colorado due to a sprained ankle. Even if Thomas gets better over the next few days, coach Mark Helfrich won’t play his speedster because he wants him ready for next week’s trip to Washington.

Vanderbilt might be without its best pass rusher Saturday vs. Missouri. Senior DE Walker May is ‘questionable’ after suffering a leg injury in a win over UAB.

Stanford All-American OG David Yankey returned to the team on Monday. Yankey missed last week’s win at Washington St. to be with his family following the death of his father.

UPDATE: Connor Shaw upgraded to ‘probable’ and will start vs. UK. South Carolina will be without three key offensive players Saturday vs. Kentucky. QB Connor Shaw is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder sprain, while WR Shaq Roland won’t return until the Tennessee game (10/19) due to a three-game suspension. Also, back-up RB Brandon Wilds is out 3-4 weeks with a sprained elbow.

BYU’s Cody Hoffman was suspended for last week’s win over Middle Tennessee. Hoffman also missed a season-opening loss at Virginia with a hamstring injury. He has only played two games, hauling in 10 receptions for 171 yards, but the senior WR isn’t nearly on pace to catch 100 balls like he did last year. Hoffman will be back Friday at Utah St. In addition, RB Jamaal Williams will return after missing one game due to the concussion he suffered in a home loss to Utah.

Kent St. star RB Dri Archer was back in the lineup for last week’s 32-14 win at Western Michigan. Archer had missed three straight games with an ankle sprained suffered in the season opener. Without Archer, the Golden Flashes scored only 11.7 points per game. He had an instant impact with 73 rushing yards on just six carries. Archer also produced four receptions for 48 yards and one TD. Look for him to get a lot more touches this weekend vs. No. Illinois.

Miami might get WR Rashawn Scott (shoulder) back for Saturday’s home game vs. Ga. Tech. Scott hasn’t played since a Week 2 win over Florida. He is ‘questionable.’ UM quarterback Stephen Morris (ankle) and RB Duke Johnson (head) are both listed as ‘probable’ vs. the Yellow Jackets.

Ga. Tech had already lost starting safety Isaiah Johnson to a season-ending injury. The Jackets’ secondary took another hit in the loss to Va. Tech when their other starting safety Jamal Golden went down with a shoulder injury. Golden will have season-ending surgery later this week.

San Diego St. lost its best defensive player when MLB Jake Fely broke his foot in a 26-16 win at New Mexico St. Fely was scheduled to have season-ending surgery on Wednesday.

Gamblers should downgrade Louisiana-Monroe in their power rankings due to the loss of QB Kolton Browning, who was the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year last season. Browning will miss the rest of 2013 with a torn quad muscle. He finishes his career as ULM’s all-time leading passer with 9,051 yards.

Ohio LB Keith Moore sprained his ankle on the first defensive series of the season in a loss at Louisville. He will return to the field for the first time since then Saturday at Akron. Moore was the Bobcats’ leading tackler in 2012 when he made 98 stops and recorded two sacks and a pair of interceptions.

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