Injuries to Watch – Week 7

Published on Thursday, 10/10/13, at 10:35 a.m. Eastern.
Updated on Thursday, 10/10/13, at 6:32 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

UPDATE: Parker is ‘out.’ Louisville WR DaVante Parker is ‘questionable’ tonight vs. Rutgers with a shoulder injury. Parker has 21 receptions for 375 yards and six TDs.

–Rutgers LB Jamal Merrell will be back tonight after missing three games with a kidney ailment. Merrell was the Scarlet Knights’ leading returning tackler who had 7.5 stops for losses last year. RU running back Paul James will miss his second straight game at Louisville. James has run for 573 yards and six TDs this year.

–USC isn’t expected to have its best players on both sides of the ball tonight vs. Arizona. DE Morgan Breslin and WR Marquise Lee are ‘doubtful.’ On the bright side, last year’s leading rusher Silas Redd (knee) is set to make his season debut.

UPDATE: Clowney practiced again Thursday and will start at Arkansas. South Carolina All-American DE and future first-round pick Jadeveon Clowney didn’t go in last week’s 35-28 win over Kentucky. For the third straight game, the Gamecocks burned their backers by giving up another backdoor cover. Clowney (bruised ribs) remains ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s game at Arkansas. The air seems to have been cleared with Steve Spurrier and Clowney making comments this week about his commitment to the team that came in question when he told his coaches he couldn’t play against UK. On the complete flip side, Connor Shaw did play against the ‘Cats after hurting his shoulder the week before. Shaw showed no signs of pain in completing 17-of-20 throws for 262 yards and two TDs without an interception. Shaw also ran for 50 yards and one TD on nine carries. WR Shaq Roland will miss his third and final game of a suspension against the Razorbacks. Back-up RB Brandon Wilds (elbow) also remains ‘out.’

–Oregon running back and special-teams dynamo De’Anthony Thomas missed last week’s win at Colorado with a sprained ankle suffered two weeks ago. Thomas remains a question mark for Saturday at Washington and is probably closer to ‘doubtful.’

–Michigan star LB Jake Ryan is poised to make his season debut Saturday at Penn St. Ryan tore his ACL in the spring. He garnered second-team All Big Ten honors last season when he had a team-high 88 tackles, 4.5 sacks and set a school record with five forced fumbles.

–Arkansas center Travis Swanson, a second-team All-SEC selection last season, has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. South Carolina after leaving last week’s 30-10 loss at Florida with a knee injury.

–After missing three straight games with a sprained knee, Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson will return to the field Saturday at LSU.

–There are three key LSU players to keep an eye on this week. WR Jarvis Landry practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and was expected to go full speed Thursday. Landry, who has made 42 catches for 616 yards and seven TDs in six games, injured his foot in a 59-26 win at Mississippi St. Craig Loston, a second-team All-SEC safety in 2012, injured his groin in a loss at Georgia two weeks ago and didn’t make the trip to Starkville. Loston has 19 tackles and an interception this season. LB Tahj Jones didn’t go Starkville either and is ‘questionable’ vs. Florida.

–TCU defensive end DeVonte Fields will look back on 2013 as a lost season. Fields, the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, only got on the field once this year. He was suspended for the first two games and broke his foot in a Week 3 loss at Texas Tech. Fields will undergo season-ending surgery and take a medical redshirt.

–Utah St. star QB Chuckie Keeton tore his ACL and MCL in the first half of last week’s 31-14 home loss to BYU. His season ends with 18 TD passes compared to only two interceptions. This is a devastating blow for the Aggies, who are seven-point home ‘dogs Saturday vs. Boise St. Utah St.’s second-leading rusher Joe Hill (252 yards) is also out with a season-ending injury. The Aggies turn to Craig Harrison as their new starting QB. Harrison has completed 23-of-46 throws for 263 yards and two TDs without an interception.

UPDATE: C.J. Brown is ‘out’ vs. Virginia. Maryland isn’t going to make a decision on QB C.J. Brown until after practice on Thursday. Brown suffered a concussion in the first half of his team’s 63-0 loss at Florida St. He led the Terrapins to a 4-0 start both straight up and against the spread by throwing seven TD passes compared to only one interception. Brown also has six rushing TDs. When he left the game last week in Tallahassee, back-up Caleb Rowe completed 9-of-17 passes for 119 yards.

–Georgia will be without RB Keith Marshall and WR Justin Scott-Wesley after both players sustained season-ending knee injuries in last week’s non-covering overtime win at Tennessee. WR Michael Bennett also suffered a knee injury and had surgery this week. There is hope that Bennett will be back this year, but he won’t be uniform when unbeaten Missouri arrives in Athens on Saturday. UGA’s punter is also a question mark after sustaining a concussion at UT.

–Texas A&M will be without the services of starting nose tackle Kirby Ennis for the rest of 2013. The senior’s career for the Aggies is over after tearing his ACL in a win at Arkansas. On the bright side, Kevin Sumlin indicated this week that junior free safety Floyd Raven will be back Saturday at Ole Miss.

–The status of Auburn QB Nick Marshall is up in the air for Saturday’s home game vs. Western Carolina. Marshall injured his knee in a crucial SEC West win over Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn told that a decision on a starting QB wouldn’t be made until Thursday or Friday. The Catamounts will come to The Plains as 44-point underdogs.

–Va. Tech cornerback Antone Exum is ‘doubtful’ vs. Pittsburgh due to a knee injury. Exum is getting close to making his season debut but will probably have to wait another two weeks since the Hokies have an open date looming. He was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2012 when he made five interceptions and had 16 passes broken up.

–Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez was downgraded to ‘doubtful’ after missing Wednesday’s practice. He had a walking boot on his left foot as the Cornhuskers prepared for Saturday’s Big Ten clash at Purdue.

–Texas QB David Ash is ‘out’ of this year’s Red River Rivalry game. With two concussions already this year, you have to wonder if we’ll see him on the field again anytime soon.

–Oregon St. will get three offensive linemen back from injuries for Saturday’s game at Washington St. The Beavers are also stoked about the return of starting RB Storm Woods after he sat out a win over Colorado due to a concussion.

–UCLA RB Jordon James is ‘doubtful’ vs. California after spraining his ankle in last Thursday’s win at Utah. James has rushed for a team-high 463 yards and five TDs. The Bears are dealing with injuries galore on their defense. Three starters for this unit have already been lost for the season, including Avery Sebastian, Chris McCain and Mustafa Jalil. Two other starters, DE Brennan Scarlett and CB Stefan McClure, are ‘out’ against the Bruins. Sonny Dykes’s team is 0-5 ATS.

–South Florida finally got a victory at home over Cincinnati last week thanks to a touchdown from both its defense and special teams. However, the Bulls still have next to nothing in terms of offense. Their only legit threat is RB Marcus Shaw, who has rushed for 552 yards and two TDs. But Shaw is ‘questionable’ at UConn with a leg injury.

–FAU has lost its best player in the secondary for the rest of the season. Keith Reaser tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win over UAB. Reaser has started the last 30 games for the Owls.

–Western Michigan WR Jaime Wilson broke his ankle this past summer. The Broncos had held out hope he would return to the field at some point in 2013, but his rehab hasn’t gone as well as hoped. Wilson, the 2012 MAC Freshman of the Year, will take a medical redshirt and retain three years of eligibility. Zach Terrell will get the starting nod under center for Western Michigan’s home game Saturday vs. Buffalo. Starting QB Tyler VanTubbergen (4/10 TD-INT ratio) injured his shoulder in last week’s loss to Kent St.

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