Su’a Cravens Injury: No Structural Damage to USC Linebacker


The knee injury which held sophomore linebacker-safety Su’a Cravens out of the second half of USC’s 44-17 win over Washington State is not serious, Steve Sarkisian revealed during his Sunday night conference call.

Cravens pulled up lame in the second quarter against Washington State when Robert Lewis scored on a nine-yard pass from Luke Falk.

The sophomore was away from the action and seemed to hurt his knee as he attempted to cut towards the center of the field in coverage. Needing help off the field, Cravens was taken back to the locker room and missed the remainder of the game.

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In Cravens’ place, the Trojan depth chart indicates true freshman Uchenna Nwosu and sophomore Quinton Powell as the next men up, but against the Cougars it was walk on safety Matt Lopes, a redshirt freshman, who stepped in. He finished with three tackles.

The fear was that Cravens might have a torn meniscus which would keep him out for four to six weeks.

No structural damage means the player can use the bye week to get healthy, though Sarkisian did not know just how long Cravens will likely be out. The coaches could very well decide to hold him out for USC’s home tilt against Cal in order to make sure he is fully ready for rivalry games with UCLA and Notre Dame to end the season.

The freshman All-American has thrived in his second year, this time as a hybrid safety-linebacker.

He leads the Trojans in interceptions with two, including a 31-yard pick six against Oregon State. With 12.5 tackles for loss on the season, another team best, Cravens has been especially effective bursting into opponents’ backfields. He has also logged four sacks and nine pass break ups, which places him second on the team in both categories.

USC is already contending with a host of injuries on defense. The Trojans lost J.R. Tavai to a knee injury against Utah which Sarkisian said will keep him out “several weeks.”

Jabari Ruffin’s offseason injury opened the door for Cravens to move into his hybrid position in the first place. Lamar Dawson recently made the decision to redshirt as he continues to rehab his knee injury from last year.