Freshman cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart is out with a “severe” ankle sprain Here’s the USC football injury report for October 2.
When freshman cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart did not travel with the USC football team to Arizona, there was speculation that he may be on track to redshirt. It turns out that redshirt idea wasn’t entirely on point, but that could still be the ultimate end to his season.
Taylor-Stuart turned up to Tuesday’s practice riding a scooter with his foot in a boot. After practice, head coach Clay Helton revealed he suffered a “pretty severe” low ankle sprain. As a result, he is set to miss multiple weeks.
Whether or not that ultimately facilitates a redshirt remains up in the air, depending on how quickly he injury progresses. A two-week absence could see him back contributing before November. A six-week absence would be a difference story. Both are possible with the type of injury he is dealing with.
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As a whole, USC’s Bye Week Tuesday injury list was a lengthy one, with a dozen players missing practice with various bumps and bruises.
The good news is, the bye week has given the Trojans the opportunity to be cautious with players carrying injuries, sitting more than a few just to be safe. Several key starters likely fall into that category.
Three of USC’s four starting linebackers were sidelined Tuesday including Porter Gustin, Cameron Smith and John Houston. In addition, backups Levi Jones and Raymond Scott were out, the latter with a broken hand.
Gustin came out of the Arizona game with an ankle injury and had his surgically repaired knee wrapped up.
Houston was also a casualty of Saturday’s game. He suffered a stinger just before halftime against the Wildcats and will be held out all week. His status for the Colorado game will be reevaluated on Monday, head coach Clay Helton said.
Other starters who missed out included right tackle Chuma Edoga, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and defensive lineman Malik Dorton.
Edoga is being rested to give his nagging hip injury a break while Dorton sprained his ankle against Arizona and is also being given time to heal up during the bye.
Meanwhile, St. Brown is finally getting the chance to take it easy on an AC shoulder sprain which has been plaguing him for weeks.
“Such a tough kid to have been playing with it and you don’t even see the signs of it,” Helton said.
USC Injury Report
- Out for the season
- LB Tayler Katoa (LDS Mission)
- DB Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder)
- K Chase McGrath (knee)
- OL Chuma Edoga (hip)
- OL Bernard Schirmer (undisclosed)
- TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (quad)
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (shoulder)
- DL Malik Dorton (ankle)
- LB Oluwole Betiku (hip)
- LB Porter Gustin (knee)
- LB John Houston (neck)
- LB Levi Jones (undisclosed)
- LB Raymond Scott (hand)
- LB Cameron Smith (undisclosed)
- LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
- DB Bubba Bolden (suspension)
- DB Isaac Taylor-Stuart (ankle)
Finally, Helton couldn’t offer much of a positive update on tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe who remains out with a groin problem.
Imatorbhebhe has yet to play in 2018 after missing all of Spring Camp and most of Fall Camp. He is working with one of USC’s team doctors to come back from the injury but there is still no timetable for his return.
“I’m crossing my fingers that he gets better each and every week,” Helton said. “My main priority for him is to be healthy and be full speed. We’re committed to that, whether that’s next week or next year. I’m committed to making sure that he’s comfortable in his own body and feels good about his health.”
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Helton praised Imatorbhebhe for his commitment to getting his body right, but there is still no timetable for his return. For the head coach, there are two hurdles to clear. First, medical clearance. Second, the comfort and confidence of the player in his body.
The one thing Helton won’t do is rush him back before he is ready: “I’m not going to risk ever hurting a kid.”
Should Imatorbhebhe miss the entirety of the 2018 season, he still isn’t a candidate for a medical redshirt. Even though he has missed most of the last two seasons, the sixth-year of eligibility is only granted for multiple season-ending injuries. Since Imatorbhebhe played in 2017, he is unlikely to qualify at this stage.