USC Football Injury Report: Jack Jones in doubt for Cotton Bowl


USC Football will be without Porter Gustin while Jack Jones is a gametime decision for the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State.

Missing players on the defensive side of the ball remain the biggest injury concern for USC Football going into the Cotton Bowl on Friday.

Head coach Clay Helton confirmed on Thursday that outside linebacker Porter Gustin will not play against Ohio State, missing his 10th game of the season due to a broken toe.

Another defensive starter could miss at as well as cornerback Jack Jones continues to battle the ankle injury he suffered in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

“It’s day-to-day. He’s got limited work this week. We’ll see again today and then tomorrow in warmups,” Helton said, calling Jones a gametime decision.

USC Football 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), WR Randal Grimes (hand), OLB Porter Gustin (toe), OT Nathan Smith (knee), RB James Toland (shoulder)
  • Questionable: CB Jack Jones (ankle), WR Velus Jones Jr. (ankle)
  • Probable: OLB Oluwole Betiku (groin), WR Jalen Greene (shoulder), RB Ronald Jones II (ankle), WR Tyler Vaughns (shoulder)

If Jones is unable to play, his starting place at cornerback will be filled by Isaiah Langley, who stood in for Iman Marshall when he too missed time to an injury. Langley has performed well this season with 32 tackles and six pass breakups on the year.

Jones’ wasn’t the only Trojan dealing with ankle concerns before flying out for Dallas. Wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. missed practice time and running back Ronald Jones II was limited, though he is expected to be a full participant on Friday.

Meanwhile, pre-Christmas shoulder injuries for Tyler Vaughns and Jalen Greene are not expected to keep them out either.

Ohio State Injury Report:

  • Out for season: TE A.J. Alexander (knee), DT Malik Barrow (knee), OL Branden Bowen (leg), S Eric Glover-Williams (dismissed), TE Kierre Hawkins (transfer), CB Shaun Wade (undisclosed)
  • Questionable: LB Dante Booker (concussion)
  • Probable: QB J.T. Barrett (knee)

The Buckeyes had a scare with quarterback J.T. Barrett, who needed knee surgery ahead of the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin.

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Despite the injury, Barrett led Ohio State to victory and has been fully cleared to practice in the lead up to the bowl game.

Co-starting linebacker Dante Booker missed the final three games of the regular season and the conference title game because of a concussion. While he may not start the Cotton Bowl, considering the emergence of freshman linebacker Tuf Borland, Booker should be able to contribute in Arlington.

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Ohio State’s tight end depth took a hit because of the medical retirement of A.J. Alexander and the transfer of Kierre Hawkins. They have also lost freshman cornerback Shaun Wade, defensive lineman Malik Barrow and offensive lineman Brandon Bowen to season-ending injuries