USC head coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed Thursday that fullback Soma Vainuku and wide receiver Ajene Harris are unlikely to play against Colorado, while defensive end Leonard Williams, kicker Andre Heidari and cornerbacks Kevon Seymour and Adoree’ Jackson should be available.
Vainuku injured his hamstring on kick coverage against Arizona while Harris has been battling his own hamstring injury since the beginning of the month.
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The fullback is a tough loss for the Trojans, even though his impact on offense has not matched his involvement in 2013. More importantly, Vainuku’s presence on special teams could be a major issue to deal with. Offensively, Jahleel Pinner will step in has his replacement.
Harris was praised for an impressive fall camp showing, such that he earned a starting nod in the opener against Fresno State. Though he failed to catch a pass in the two game following the first, Harris reeled in three versus Oregon State before picking up the knock in practice. In his place, Steven Mitchell saw increased involvement and will continue to do so.
Williams aggravated a shoulder injury and was held out of practice for much of this week but Sarkisian called that a precaution.
Seymour has struggled with a stomach illness since the offseason and missed a the end of the Arizona game, while Jackson suffered a hip injury against the Wildcats but returned to practice Wednesday. If either of them are slowed on Saturday, true freshmen could be expected to step in, namely Jonathan Lockett, John Plattenburg or Rahshead Johnson, who was expected to redshirt.
Heidari hurt his groin in practice last week and missed the last game. Alex Wood started in his place but as he has been kicking in practice this week he is likely to get back on the field as well.