USC Football Injury Report: Stephen Carr at full speed (8/3)

Running back Stephen Carr assuaged fears of a slow return from back surgery on Friday. Here’s the USC football injury report from Day 1 of Fall Camp.

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The return of USC football Fall Camp could have brought with it some worrying signs on the injury front, especially with regard to sophomore running back Stephen Carr, who is recovering from back surgery.

Instead, Carr settled any lingering doubts over his recovery by going “full speed” on Friday.

“That made my heart good. I’ll sleep a lot better tonight,” said head coach Clay Helton, who had indicated Carr would be eased back into action this fall at Pac-12 Media Day.

Carr didn’t just warm up with the team and go through positional drills. He was also able to grab a few reps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 segments.

“Obviously hasn’t been hit yet, but to see him just walk back out here catch balls like it’s nothing, make cuts like he’s always done, it makes you it makes you exhale a little bit,” Helton said.

Carr wasn’t the only player coming off back surgery who was able to show positive progress. Defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu was cleared to practice and participated fully on Friday.

Tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe will be treated with caution this fall after spending most of last season hampered by a hip injury, but he was able to participate and moved well, according to Helton.

USC Football Injury Report:

  • Out for the season: LB Tayler Katoa (LDS Mission)
  • Out: LB Oluwole Betiku (hip), WR Randal Grimes (back), DL Jacob Lichtenstein (knee), WR Jake Russell (leg), DL Jay Tufele (foot), LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
  • Limited: WR Trevon Sidney (knee)

Wide receiver Trevon Sidney was also in doubt for the start of Fall Camp because of a summer knee injury, but he was able to take the field with a brace.

Of course, it wasn’t all good news. Linebacker Oluwole Betiku, wide receivers Randal Grimes and Jake Russell, defensive linemen Jacob Lichtenstein and Jay Tufele and linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu were unable to practice on Day 1.

Betiku and Tuliaupupu are still recovering from hip and foot surgery respectively. Helton did not give a timetable for their return.

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Russell suffered a stress fracture and will miss most of camp. Grimes has a back issue and while Helton hope he’ll be out for a limited time, he couldn’t give a set amount.

Lichtenstein is dealing with a knee strain and is likely to sit out for a week while Tufele has a laceration on his foot and will only miss a couple of days.

Finally, Helton confirmed linebacker Tayler Katoa has decided to take his LDS Mission and will be gone for the next two years with the expectation of returning to USC in 2020.

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