The USC defense has been dealt another key injury as freshman safety John Plattenburg was carted off the field during Sunday afternoon’s practice, according to multiple reports.
Both the severity of the injury and the location are unknown as of now. We will update the story as more news emerges.
UPDATE: According to head coach Steve Sarkisian, it’s a deep thigh bruise for Plattenburg.
As of the Washington State game last weekend, Plattenburg was listed as a co-starter with Leon McQuay III at strong safety.
Plattenburg has been a regular member of the Trojans’ rotation at safety for much of the second half of the season, after getting starting reps in the middle of season in place of senior Gerald Bowman.
In seven games of action, the freshman from Houston has 14 total tackles and has recorded one pass break up.
Without Plattenburg, the Trojans may have to call on freshman walk-on Matt Lopes, who played at Washington State two weeks ago.
The Trojans are already without Su’a Cravens, who originally started at strong safety going into the season before moving to strongside linebacker. They’re also without Josh Shaw, a safety turned cornerback who has been suspended for breaking team rules.
Shaw’s return has been in question and simmering of late given the bye week before Thursday’s game against the Cal Bears, and an injury to Plattenburg could be what forces the hand of head coach Steve Sarkisian and athletic director Pat Haden.
For now, the Trojans just have to focus on getting healthy, as Plattenburg joins a host of injured defensive players like Cravens, J.R. Tavai, Kenny Bigelow and Jabari Ruffin.
Hopefully for Troy, this injury isn’t nearly as serious as the aforementioned.
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