Predator linebacker Christian Rector left Wednesday’s practice with a hand injury, plus more from the USC injury report for Oct. 25.
If USC hoped that they might have more injury luck after the Notre Dame game, they were wrong as Wednesday held a whole new wave of health concerns.
Predator linebacker Christian Rector left practice on Wednesday accompanied by a trainer with an apparent hand injury.
“Any time you leave the field it’s not good,” head coach Clay Helton conceded, though he could not speak to the severity of the injury. “I’m going to have a chance to visit with the doctors tonight and see exactly what’s the plan.”
Rector’s absence moved Connor Murphy and Oluwole Betiku into the first team lineup, but they weren’t the only ones to take his place. Inside linebacker Jordan Iosefa also work with the first team on the outside for long stretches of practice.
USC Injury Report:
- Out for season: DL Kenny Bigelow (retirement), K Michael Brown (knee), CB Greg Johnson (shoulder), LB Tayler Katoa (knee), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), S Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder), OL Viane Talamaivao (pectoral), DL Marlon Tuipulotu (back), WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young (hamstring/redshirt)
- Out: RB Stephen Carr (foot), OLB Hunter Echols (hip), DL Josh Fatu (concussion), OLB Porter Gustin (toe/bicep), CB Iman Marshall (knee), OT Nathan Smith (knee)
- Questionable: TE Josh Falo, DL Christian Rector (hand)
- Probable: QB Sam Darnold (ankle), OL Chuma Edoga (ankle/illness), OL Nico Falah (chest), DL Rasheem Green (ankle), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hip), Ronald Jones II (ankle), Damon Johnson (back/concussion), OL Toa Lobendahn (pectoral), WR Steven Mitchell (shoulder)
Before Rector’s departure, the big injury news of the day surrounded Josh Falo. The freshman tight end attended practice with a walking boot on his right foot.
Helton did not elaborate on the foot injury, expecting more of an update on Falo’s status on Thursday.
The Trojans were also missing starting right tackle Chuma Edoga, but there was a touch of positive news as the offensive lineman did not have a setback with his already-injured ankle. Instead, Edoga missed practice because of illness.
“We’ve got the stomach bug going through the team right now, so he was seeing the doctor,” Helton said.
Wide receiver Steven Mitchell remained out, but Helton also had good news on that front.
“I am planning on him making the trip,” the head coach said, comparing Mitchell’s situation to Deontay Burnett’s ahead of the Washington State game, with a precautionary approach. “Right now we’re in preparation to have Michael Pittman ready and if Steven can give us 15, 20, 30 plays that would be great.”
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The injured duo of Stephen Carr and Porter Gustin did not practice on Wednesday either. Neither is expected to suit up this weekend, though both continue to progress through their recovery.
Carr, who has been out with a foot injury, has done change of direction this week but still isn’t close enough to risk further injury.
Meanwhile, Gustin is just now putting weight on his broken toe and should begin integrating change of direction into his running later this week.
Meanwhile, longsnapper Damon Johnson officially cleared concussion protocol on Wednesday and will be available for the ASU game.
Cornerback Iman Marshall and defensive lineman Josh Fatu did not practice with a knee injury and concussion respectively.