Center Toa Lobendahn is officially questionable for the season opener, having missed Thursday’s practice. Here’s the USC vs. UNLV injury report.
There’s an ideal way to enter the first game of the season and the Trojans are moving in the opposite direction.
On Thursday, head coach Clay Helton didn’t sound confident describing starting center Toa Lobendahn’s chances of playing against UNLV on Saturday.
Lobendahn has missed three days of practice, including Thursday, with a pectoral injury.
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While Helton was happy to report good progress from linebacker Porter Gustin and left tackle Austin Jackson, his assessment of Lobendahn was not as positive.
“[He’s] not looking as good as the other two,” Helton said.
Redshirt freshman Brett Neilon has worked with the first team in Lobendahn’s absence throughout the offseason, first for the whole of Spring Camp and then as needed in Fall Camp. If he were to start on Saturday it would be in the first game of his Trojan career.
At the very least, it doesn’t look the Trojans will have to turn to a backup at tackle. Jackson has been dealing with an ankle problem since Fall Camp and had to be evaluated by trainers in the middle of Wednesday’s practice. He was able to practice without issue on Thursday.
“He looked very good today,” Helton said. “I anticipate him playing in the game.”
The same goes for Gustin, who is well on his way to returning from the meniscus tear he suffered in the first week of Fall Camp action. He will need to be evaluated on Friday, but Helton is hopeful of his participation.
USC Football Injury Report
- Out for the season
- LB: Tayler Katoa (LDS Mission)
- RB Markese Stepp (concussion)
- DL Liam Jimmons (toe)
- LB Oluwole Betiku (hip)
- LB Palaie Gaoteote (knee)
- LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
- S Bubba Bolden (personal matter)
- OL Jordan Austin (pec)
- OL Toa Lobendahn (pec)
- TE Austin Applebee (mono)
- TE Josh Falo (hamstring)
- TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (quad)
- WR Josh Imatorbhebhe (ankle)
- WR Jake Russell (hamstring)
- OL Austin Jackson (ankle)
- LB Porter Gustin (knee)
There’s less hope for tight end Josh Falo, who also missed practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury suffered earlier in the week.
Falo’s absence is not ideal with tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe also looking unlikely to suit up this weekend.