USC Injury Report and Practice Notes: Deontay Burnett sits (9/25)

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Deontay Burnett
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Deontay Burnett /

Star receiver Deontay Burnett was held out with a shoulder injury as the Trojans prep for WSU. Here’s the USC injury report and practice notes for Sept. 25.

USC could be without one of its top offensive weapons when the Trojans face Washington State this Friday.

Wide receiver Deontay Burnett was held out of practice on Monday with a shoulder injury.

Burnett was one of three offensive players who did not suit up as preparations began for the Cougars. The junior, fellow receiver Velus Jones Jr. and running back Aca’Cedric Ware were all listed as day-to-day by head coach Clay Helton.

The Trojans will see where they are on Tuesday, but for now, their status for the road trip to Pullman is in doubt.

USC Injury Report:

  • Out for season: K Michael Brown (knee), LB Tayler Katoa (knee), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), S Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder)
  • Out: OLB Hunter Echols (hip), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hip), OT Nathan Smith (knee)
  • Doubtful: OLB Porter Gustin (toe/bicep), WR Steven Mitchell (groin)
  • Questionable: WR Deontay Burnett (shoulder, WR Velus Jones Jr. (undisclosed), RB Aca’Cedric Ware (undisclosed)
  • Probable: DL Rasheem Green (ankle), DB Ajene Harris (knee), RB Ronald Jones II (quad/ankle), WR Joseph Lewis (abdominal), OLB Uchenna Nwosu (knee/elbow), WR Michael Pittman (ankle), DL Marlon Tuipulotu (knee)

Doubts also remain for receiver Steven Mitchell. After sitting out the Cal game with a groin injury, Mitchell worked with a trainer at Howard Jones Field, but Helton said that he remains day-to-day as they have not been able to get him running yet.

There was some good news from the practice field though. Running back Ronald Jones II headlined the injured Trojans who returned to practice. He was joined by nickelback Ajene Harris, who wore a sleeve on his injured knee but was a full participant, receiver Joseph Lewis and defensive lineman Josh Fatu, who hurt his ankle against Cal but was able to go on Monday.

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Defensive lineman Rasheem Green and outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu were also in action.

However, predator linebacker Porter Gustin remained sidelined by a toe and bicep injuries.

“I think he is very doubtful for this game, just being honest,” Helton updated the status of his pass rusher.

News and Notes:

With Burnett and Mitchell out of the first team lineup, and Jones Jr. out as well, USC’s starting lineup at receiver included Trevon Sidney for the first time this year. The receiver was a lonely figure in the slot with no other teammates at his position healthy enough to run through passing drills.

The trio of Tyler Vaughns, Michael Pittman and Jalen Greene occupied the remaining two first team spots at wide receiver.

Vaughns was the star of practice on Monday. The redshirt freshman had Greg Johnson’s number in the one 1-v-1 segment making tough grabs inside and outside. His most impressive moment came making an outstretched one-handed diving reception past Jalen Jones to end the period. He continued his strong play in 7-on-7, attacking each ball thrown his way. Then in 11-on-11 he opened the period with a touchdown grab on a deep throw, getting a step on the defensive back for the score. He replicated that effort later on with a second score.

Cornerback Jamel Cook also had an impressive showing in 1-v-1s. He broke up a slant intended for Sidney and then went high on a deep route to deflect a ball intended for Keyshawn “Pie” Young.

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Sidney burned safety C.J. Pollard on a slant during 11-on-11, giving him a clear shot at the endzone if the play had been allowed to continue.

Safety Bubba Bolden tipped away a long attempt from Sam Darnold to Sidney.

Harris jumped a Matt Fink pass for a sure pick six during 11-on-11.

Ykili Ross, Harris’ back up at the nickel, nearly intercepted Darnold during 7-on-7, but the ball shot past him and into the arms of tight end Tyler Petite. Ross later bottled up running back James Toland on a series of swing passes outside.

Safety Matt Lopes dropped a sure interception of Fink.

Johnson almost pick sixed Darnold as well, but he couldn’t hang onto the ball after jumping Sidney’s route.

Receiver Michael Pittman made his own impressive spinning one-handed grab during 11-on-11.