USC Football: Viane Talamaivao, Others Return to Practice


USC football welcomed a platoon of injured players back to the practice field Tuesday as they race to get ready for the Trojans’ pivotal game against UCLA.

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JuJu Smith-Schuster did not miss any time despite hurting his ankle during USC’s loss to Oregon, but the receiver did cause some worry when he fell while attempting to make a catch, hurting his hand in the process. He has already been playing despite a fracture in his hand which required surgery. True to form, he continued to practice in spite of the knock, according to Rich Hammond of the OC Register.

After missing the weekend’s game because of a sprained knee, right guard Viane Talamaivao returned to his spot with the first team offensive line. Running back Tre Madden, who has been on the cusp of coming back from a knee injury of his own, was also in action.

The patchwork Trojan offensive line struggled against the Ducks, so having Talamaivao back in the fold could help stabilize that problem.

Still, back up center Nico Falah took some first team reps from starter Khaliel Rodgers, so perhaps the shuffling is not yet over with. Rodgers has been playing with an injured shoulder and bad snaps were a concern on Saturday. Unfortunately, Falah did not seem immune to the same troubles, snapping one ball well over Cody Kessler’s head, according to Shotgun Spratling of

Safety Marvell Tell III and receiver Isaac Whitney, who both are recovering from broken collarbones, returned to give a boost to their respective positions, though Whitney was limited to non-contact drills, according to Paolo Uggetti of Neon Tommy.

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The Trojan secondary also enjoyed the return of Leon McQuay III, who has been held out with a sprained knee. Without Tell, McQuay and Matt Lopes, USC took on Oregon with just two healthy safeties, drafting cornerback Jonathan Lockett into that role for the day.

Kicker Alex Wood had to sit out the weekend with a concussion but he too was back at practice Monday.

The injury news was not all good however. Linebacker Osa Masina has a hamstring injury and did not participate, according to Spratling.