USC Football Injury Report: Trojans without Porter Gustin, Stanford’s Eric Cotton out

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /

The Trojans and Cardinal will both be missing key outside rushers on Friday. Here’s the USC Football injury report ahead of the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The rivalry rematch in the Pac-12 Championship Game won’t feature some key defenders, but USC Football can take heart in an increasingly healthy lineup.

The Trojans learned early in the week that outside linebacker Porter Gustin will remain out with a broken toe for another week, with hopes of maybe playing in USC’s bowl game. Besides that unfortunate news the injury situation at USC has only improved as the conference title game nears.

Left guard Chris Brown, who came out of the UCLA game with a back injury, has been able to practice all week, as has wide receiver Velus Jones despite a high ankle sprain suffered in the regular season finale.

Outside linebacker Christian Rector, Gustin’s replacement, no longer has to wear a full club on his broken hand, which is now in a soft cast.

Plus kicker Chase McGrath, whose groin has limited him for weeks, and punter Reid Budrovich, who hurt his shoulder against UCLA, appear good to go for Friday’s action.

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: Jamel Cook (academics), OLB Hunter Echols (redshirt), WR Randal Grimes (hand), OLB Porter Gustin (toe), OT Nathan Smith (knee), RB James Toland (shoulder)
  • Probable: OL Chris Brown (back), P Reid Budrovich (shoulder), QB Matt Fink (knee), DL Rasheem Green (shoulder), WR Velus Jones Jr. (ankle), K Chase McGrath (groin), TE Tyler Petite (shoulder), DL Christian Rector (hand)

The only concerns for the Trojans involve defensive end Rasheem Green and tight end Tyler Petite who were limited by shoulder injuries during practice this week.

Both have been managed because of those knocks for the last few weeks, however, and both are expected to be full participants at Levi’s Stadium for the title game.

The Trojans can also expect more participation from running back Stephen Carr and cornerback Iman Marshall and others as they return to form after injury layoffs.

All-in-all, USC is as healthy as they have been, probably since facing the Cardinal in Week 2.

Stanford Injury Report:

  • Out for season: LB Sean Barton (knee), CB Alijah Holder (knee)
  • Out: DE Eric Cotton (foot)
  • Questionable: LB Joey Alfieri (shoulder), CB Terrance Alexander (arm), OL Walker Little (undisclosed), LB Curtis Robinson (undisclosed)
  • Probable: RB Bryce Love (ankle)

Stanford’s injury troubles have all seemed to bunch on the defensive side of the ball, where a number of starters who played against the Trojans in September may be unavailable for the rematch.

Linebacker Sean Barton and cornerback Alijah Holder were lost for the season earlier this year because of knee injuries.

The Cardinal will be without one of their veteran starting defensive linemen after end Eric Cotton injured his foot against Notre Dame. Cotton, who is fourth on Stanford’s defense with 4.5 tackles for loss this season, will be replaced by redshirt freshman Jovan Swann, who is making his first career start.

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Another key starter is questionable this week as outside linebacker Joey Alfieri is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury which threatens to hold him out on Friday.

Backup linebacker Curtis Robinson, who nabbed an interception against Notre Dame, is also questionable for the title game.

Cornerback Terrance Alexander and offensive lineman Walker Little have missed multiple games this season due to a forearm and undisclosed injury respectively. Both are expected to miss out as well.

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As for running back Bryce Love, who has battled through an ankle sprain for the better part of a month, he managed 125 yards against Notre Dame and is slated to start against the Trojans.