USC Injury Report: Matt Fink held with knee sprain (11/15)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Backup quarterback Matt Fink was held out of practice with a knee sprain, leaving the Trojans with few options QB. Here’s the USC injury report for Nov. 15.

After being fallen into by a teammate on Tuesday, quarterback Matt Fink was held out of practice on Wednesday because of a knee sprain, putting USC’s quarterback depth in stark perspective.

With Fink out, the Trojans only had one scholarship quarterback behind starter Sam Darnold, but freshman Jack Sears is redshirting and the likelihood of seeing him take the field this year is slim. As a result, walk on Thomas Holden took second team reps for the Trojans.

The good news: Head coach Clay Helton said Fink “should be okay” for Saturday.

Still, if Fink was unable to go and something were to befall Darnold, USC would be in quite a pickle.

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:  OLB Hunter Echols (redshirt), OT Nathan Smith (knee), RB James Toland (shoulder)
  • Doubtful: OLB Porter Gustin (toe)
  • Questionable: OLB Connor Murphy (hip)
  • Probable: RB Stephen Carr (foot), QB Matt Fink (knee), DL Rasheem Green (shoulder), CB Iman Marshall (knee), K Chase McGrath (groin), OLB Uchenna Nwosu (ankle), TE Tyler Petite (shoulder), DL Christian Rector (hand)

The Trojan defense got a major boost on Wednesday as captain Uchenna Nwosu returned to action after being held on Tuesday. The outside linebacker no longer sported heavily-taped ankles and was able to go for about half of practice.

He “moved well,” according to Helton.

Opposite Nwosu, Christian Rector continues to progress after his return from hand surgery. The Trojans used him in passing situations against Colorado while limiting his workload. This week, his workload should increase, as pain in his hand has not been an issue and he regains football shape. However, USC fans shouldn’t expect a full return just yet

“I think he’s in a position where he can contribute more this week. I don’t think it’s a full game but [we’ll] keep easing him back along,” Helton said.

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Cornerback Iman Marshall is also being eased along, but his participation is expected to rise as well this week. On Wednesday, the junior worked almost exclusively with the first team. He had been relegated to second team action during his first week back.

“Biggie looks a lot more confident this week than he did last week,” Helton said, adding that they had been very cautious with Marshall’s recovery from an MCL sprain. “We wanted to make sure he was 100 percent. He looks like he’s getting there now.”

As with Rector, Marshall isn’t likely to get a full load. He, Isaiah Langley and Jack Jones will roll between the two cornerback spots, Helton said.

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At running back, Stephen Carr is looking “very healthy” and should see his involvement increase this weekend, according to Helton.

Meanwhile, tight end Tyler Petite remained out with a shoulder injury. A shoulder injury is also still limiting defensive end Rasheem Green, who continued to spend the bulk of practice working with a trainer on his own.

Defensive back Jamel Cook did not practice on Wednesday, nor did receiver Randal Grimes.