Robert Woods practiced with the Trojans for the first time in a long, long time on Monday night. After an offseason ankle surgery held him out of spring camp and lingering effects cost Woods his summer workouts, for the Trojans, having their star receiver on the field is a big deal, especially when he proclaims his ankle to be 100 percent.
Woods didn’t line up at receiver during the team’s first practice, but he got work in on the punt return team, as well as the individual workouts. Lane Kiffin spoke after practice, speaking to Woods’ minimal participation as a sign of precaution, but it’s a great sign for the Trojans, considering that Kiffin and Matt Barkley were highly questioning Woods’s ankle just two weeks ago at Pac-12 Media Day.
Robert Woods played all of 2011 with the injured ankle, yet he set a Pac-12 season record for catches in what virtually ended up being just 11 games, considering his ankle cost him most of the Washington game.
Despite missing all of the offseason, Woods is actually in a better situation now than he was a year ago, when he missed considerable time in fall camp.
Woods being able to prove in 2011 that he can overcome injuries really allows the Trojans to have faith in their junior receiver, when you take into account that his status going into the opener against Minnesota last year was questioned, to which he answered with a 17-catch day to set a school record.
This year, the Trojans return Marqise Lee alongside Woods, as well as George Farmer and newcomer Nelson Agholor, who will compete for the third receiver spot. That depth really takes a lot of pressure off of Woods, and if he’s as healthy as he says he is, the Trojans will be in good shape.