USC vs Cal Injury Report: Questions Surround Justin Davis, Chad Hansen

Oct 8, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans running back Justin Davis (22) carries the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans running back Justin Davis (22) carries the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Trojan running back Justin Davis is likely to miss out but Bear wide receiver Chad Hansen may be back from his ankle problem. Here’s the injury report for USC vs Cal.

Midseason injury reports are often overflowing, but health concerns for USC and Cal are relatively limited as the two gear up for their Thursday night contest at the LA Coliseum.

The headliner for USC on the injury front remains running back Justin Davis, who suffered an ankle sprain in the second half against Colorado and has not played for the Trojans since.

Davis is out of his boot but it appears he will miss his second game of the season with his ability to cut still limited. Head coach Clay Helton officially listed him as doubtful, with a less than 50-50 chance to take the field for USC.

With Davis still out, USC will once again turn to the duo of Ronald Jones II and Aca’Cedric Ware to pick up the slack. Ware, who tweaked his ankle ahead of the Arizona game and was rested during the bye week, returned to practice this week without concern.

Coming out of the Arizona game, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s health was a major talking point but as expected a week off has the junior wide receiver ready to go this week.

Defensively the Trojans have some injury issues, though all of them appear relatively minor.

Cornerback Ajene Harris missed practice time this week after banging up his knee during the bye week. He is, however, expected to be well enough to play on Thursday.

The same goes for safety Leon McQuay III, who has been bothered by a hip pointer since the trip to Arizona. Having McQuay ready to go should be a boost to the Trojan defense, faced with a dangerous passing attack this week.

Meanwhile, nagging injuries to linebacker Michael Hutchings, linebacker Olajuwon Tucker, safety Ykili Ross and offensive lineman Jordan Simmons shouldn’t restrict any of those from taking part on Thursday.

USC will be without one linebacker this week, and for the foreseeable future. Helton announced an indefinite suspension for Jabari Ruffin because of an undisclosed student-conduct issue. Ruffin is the third offensive lineman to face disciplinary problems this season after Osa Masina and Don Hill were removed from the team earlier this year.

Ruffin had yet to play a key role for the Trojans but his absence will heap more pressure on starters Porter Gustin and Uchenna Nwosu, with young back ups like Tucker, Connor Murphy and Oluwole Betiku taking on more responsibility.

USC Injury Report:

  • Out for the season: DT Kenny Bigelow (knee), C Toa Lobendahn (knee), WR Steven Mitchell (knee)
  • Out: DL Noah Jefferson (academics/shoulder), RB Vavae Malepeai (shoulder), Jabari Ruffin (suspension)
  • Doubtful: RB Justin Davis (ankle)
  • Probable: CB Ajene Harris (knee), ILB Michael Hutchings (shoulder), S Leon McQuay III (hip/groin), S Ykili Ross (shoulder), OL Jordan Simmons (knee), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (back), LB Olajuwon Tucker (knee), Aca’Cedric Ware (ankle)

Cal Injury Report:

  • Out for the season: DL Luc Bequette (knee) S Damariay Drew (knee), RB Vic Enwere (ankle), S Evan Rambo (knee)
  • Out: LB Derron Brown (hand)
  • Questionable: CB Darius Allensworth (hamstring)
  • Probable: WR Chad Hansen (ankle)

On the opposing sideline, Cal has a major question mark hanging around wide receiver Chad Hansen, who missed last week’s contest against Oregon with an ankle injury.

Head coach Sonny Dykes said this week that he was optimistic Hansen would play on Thursday, but similar indications were given ahead of the game with the Ducks. For now, it’s safe to bet that Hansen will be available, but it’s not a sure thing just yet.

Getting Hansen back in time to face USC’s strong defensive back group could be key for Cal. He leads the Pac-12 in receiving and has been quarterback Davis Webb’s favorite target all year.

More from Reign of Troy

The month of October hasn’t been kind to the Bears when it comes to injuries in general.

Cal’s Vic Enwere also came out injured during the Bears’ loss to Oregon State. The running back, who had been the team’s second-leading rusher, broke a bone in his foot and will miss the remainder of the season.

Defensive lineman Luc Bequette suffered a freak injury during warm ups before the start of Utah game tweaking his knee while starting safety Evan Rambo also went down with an ACL tear during the game. Both players are done for the season, joining another starting safety, Damariay Drew, who tore his ACL during spring camp.

Cornerback Darius Allensworth has been plagued by injuries all season and his status for Thursday remains in doubt. After missing the Utah game with a thigh problem, the defender limped off against Oregon with an apparent hamstring injury.