USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and other Trojans are fighting a cold bug as the 2017 Rose Bowl approaches.
Those living on the east coast may scoff, but winter weather in Los Angeles is not agreeing with USC football as they prepare to face Penn State in the Rose Bowl on Monday.
Most notably, leading wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is fighting through fever and cold sweats.
“He’s on a Z-Pak right now, some antibiotics, so hopefully with a couple days [he’ll be fine],” head coach Clay Helton said, “As we know, he’s a warrior.”
That might be an understatement. As a sophomore, Smith-Schuster played through a broken hand, returning in under a week after undergoing surgery.
USC Injury Report:
- Out for the season: DT Kenny Bigelow (knee), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), C Toa Lobendahn (knee), WR Steven Mitchell (knee), OT Nathan Smith (knee)
- Out: DL Noah Jefferson (transfer), OLB Jabari Ruffin (suspension)
- Questionable: C Khaliel Rodgers (concussion)
- Probable: QB Sam Darnold (hip), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hamstring, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (wrist/illness)
This season, Smith-Schuster’s warrior mentality has been on display as well. An ankle injury hampered the player coming out of fall camp but he played on. Through the middle of the season, Smith-Schuster dealt with back spasms but didn’t miss any time. And during bowl prep, the receiver worked with a banged up wrist.
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With that in mind, there’s no question that Smith-Schuster is capable of taking the field and playing at a high level despite feeling under the weather.
Smith-Schuster isn’t the only one feeling down, but the head coach insisted there’s minimal concern about the health of his team.
“We’ve got a couple other kids that are getting a little bit of a cold, as we’ve had a little bit of a wet winter here in L.A., but nothing I don’t think will hold anybody up,” Helton said.
USC actually is unusually healthy with the bowl game approaching. Though the Trojans have lost five players to season-ending injuries this season, the injury list remains light. Players have been able to play through the minor knocks which are to be expected playing such a physical game.