Game prep for Thursday night’s game against Washington kicked off on Saturday afternoon for USC, but they were without the services of junior wide receiver Darreus Rogers.
Well, kinda. The Carson product suited up but never put on his helmet and did not participate in team drills. This comes after he tweaked his hamstring in the Trojans’ win at Arizona State last Saturday.
“Darreus was obviously extremely limited today,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s going to be a day-to-day thing, but he’s going to have to show us some stuff here in the next couple of days to be realistically able to play.”
Rogers has played in all but three games during his career at USC, having been sidelined briefly in 2013 with a high ankle sprain.
Currently, he’s an unsung weapon for the Trojans as a valuable third down target and a blocking receiver out on the edge. Should he not play against Washington, junior college transfer Isaac Whitney will likely see the most playing time in his place.
Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Darreus Rogers (1) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Like Rogers, Whitney is a more than capable blocker on the perimeter for USC’s screen-heavy passing attack and has been reliable in the passing game when called upon.
However, the Trojans have also toyed with the idea of putting Steven Mitchell out wide and not keeping him primarily as an inside receiver.
“We’re looking at different options there,” Sarkisian said. “Dominic Davis we had moved to receiver to get some quality looks there, which could maybe allow us to put Steven out there.”
Sarkisian also highlighted Jalen Greene, who like Mitchell, has played inside.
All in all, it plays into an idea that receivers coach Tee Martin has preached since coming to USC. He’s repeatedly said that all receivers will have to be capable of playing three receiver positions.
In just over three games of action, Rogers has seven catches for 80 yards. His four catches for 44 yards against Stanford was his biggest impact for USC since last year’s season opener against Fresno State, when he recorded five receptions for 60 yards.
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