Yes. It can actually get worse for the oft-injured USC Trojans. Interim head coach Ed Orgeron announced Wednesday afternoon that Lamar Dawson would be joining freshman running back Justin Davis as the latest major casualties. The junior linebacker will miss the remainder of the season, and will be replaced by redshirt sophomore Anthony Sarao as starting middle linebacker.
Dawson suffered a ‘severe knee injury’ in Tuesday’s practice, making him the second player in successive days to be ruled out for the season due to an injury suffered on the practice field. Offensive guard Jordan Simmons injured his knee on Monday, and was officially lost for the season on Tuesday.
Through seven games, Dawson totaled 35 tackles in his true junior season, which put him in a tie with Josh Shaw for fourth on the team. The former Freshman All-American honorable mention has improved from a sophomore season that saw him struggle mightily against the pass in Monte Kiffin’s Cover-2 defense.
Dawson’s season highlight came on Saturday in South Bend, when he rocked Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees for his first and only full sack of the season, which in turn knocked Rees out of the game with a sprained neck.
Dawson is expected to return in 2014 for his senior season, and should regain his position as starting middle linebacker.