USC Football: Leon McQuay III Unlikely to Play vs. UCLA


Though the Trojans have welcomed several players back from injury, Leon McQuay III remains in doubt to play for USC football against UCLA.

Safety Leon McQuay III, who is battling to get back from a knee injury, is not expected to play for the Trojans this weekend, interim head coach Clay Helton said after practice Wednesday.

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“It’ll be close, but if I had to bet on it right now, I don’t think so,” Helton said of McQuay’s status for Saturday, citing vastly different recovery times for PCL tears from four weeks to eight weeks.

The junior has missed three games for the Trojans after starting for the first time this season against Utah and Cal. With McQuay out of the lineup, USC took the field against Oregon with just two safeties available.

His injury means McQuay will not have the opportunity to redeem himself for last year’s nightmare performance, when he was badly beaten on long touchdown throws from Brett Hundley.

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The positive news is that fellow safety Marvell Tell returned to practice earlier than expected Tuesday and his progress through Wednesday suggests that he will be available to play on Saturday. Tell had missed the previous four games with a broken collarbone.

On the offensive line, the news was much the same for right guard Viane Talamaivao who completed his second day of practice this weekend and looks set to feature as a starter for USC against the Bruins. Chris Brown stepped into his place against Oregon due to his sprained knee.

As was the case on Tuesday, back up center Nico Falah saw an increased number of reps at center in place of current starter Khaliel Rodgers, according to Keeley Eure of Rodgers remains the No. 1 center, but he has been dealing with a shoulder injury and his poor snaps against Oregon cost the Trojan offense on more than one occasion.