Daniel Imatorbhebhe and Oluwole Betiku face uncertain futures in their race to get back to action in 2018. Here’s the USC football injury report for August 15.
The USC football injury list remains more full than the Trojans would want, but on Wednesday head coach Clay Helton had updates on the status of a number of players who are looking to make returns soon.
Offensive tackle Austin Jackson was able to get in a handful of periods on Wednesday with a date for his full speed return set next week.
The same goes for defensive lineman Jacob Lichtenstein and right guard Andrew Vorhees, who have been sitting out with a calf and knee issue respectively.
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Also on the offensive line, tackle Clayton Bradley was out Wednesday with a back concern, though his time on the sideline is expected to be short.
Things aren’t so clear for tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe or outside linebacker Oluwole Betiku.
Imatorbhebhe is suiting up for practice right now, but he’s been limited to no contact while he continues to get the hip injury which kept him out most of last season under control.
He is making progress every day, Helton said, but there’s no timetable for his return to full action yet.
“I don’t have a crystal ball. It’s kind of how he feels,” said Helton.
That’s unfortunate as the Trojans are already thin at tight end with Erik Krommenhoek sidelined by a hamstring injury.
“We want a 100 percent Daniel and I’m committed to that for him,” Helton said.
While there is hope for Imatorbhebhe to return soon enough, that’s not the case of Betiku.
The junior linebacker underwent surgery on both hips this offseason and faces a more lengthy return.
“We went into that surgery for the long haul for him,” said Helton. He would hope to see Betiku begin to start feeling normal around midseason, but that could result in some strategic planning for the player.
Betiku didn’t redshirt as a freshman despite limited action. What seemed like a mistake early in his career could become a benefit, especially with changes to the redshirt rule allowing redshirting players to play a number of games in a season while still holding onto eligibility.
“He would be one of those guys that could get four games late in the season, help us out and still be redshirted,” Helton said. “That would be a great goal.”
USC Football Injury Report:
- Out for the season: LB Tayler Katoa (LDS Mission)
- Out: LB Oluwole Betiku (hip), OL Clayton Bradley (back), LB Palaie Gaoteote (knee), LB Porter Gustin (knee), WR Josh Imatorbhebhe (ankle), DL Liam Jimmons (undisclosed), TE Erik Krommenhoek (hamstring), DL Jacob Lichtenstein (calf), WR Michael Pittman (nose/shoulder), S Ykili Ross (hamstring), WR Jake Russell (hamstring), RB Markese Stepp (concussion), LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot), OL Andrew Vorhees (knee),
- Limited: TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hip), OL Austin Jackson (ankle), LB Levi Jones (ankle), LB Cameron Smith (hamstring), Keyshawn “Pie” Young (undisclosed)
It Betiku follows Porter Gustin’s rehab strategy, he’ll likely be able to get onto the field in 2018. Helton called Gustin one of the hardest workers he’s ever seen, whether that applies to the weight room or rehab.
“He’s there daylight until dark rehabbing it,” said Helton, referencing Gustin’s knee, which just required surgery to repair his torn meniscus.
Good news for all Trojan fans, Gustin is on schedule with that rehab.