USC football injury report: JT Daniels in doubt, Matt Fink out (10/21)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC football may be without their top two quarterbacks against ASU with JT Daniels in concussion protocol and Matt Fink out with broken ribs. Here’s the post-Utah injury report.

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The injury bug has officially struck the quarterback position for USC football with JT Daniels and Matt Fink either in doubt or out for the coming game against Arizona State.

Daniels suffered a concussion late in the third quarter against Utah, adding injury to the insult of throwing an interception on his final throw of the game. He will now go through concussion protocol, head coach Clay Helton said during his Sunday conference call, with his status for Saturday up in the air.

Last week, linebacker Palaie Gaoteote suffered an apparent concussion and made it through the protocol in time to practice on Thursday and start on Saturday. However, many players in the past have needed more than a week to clear the protocol.

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Daniels’ situation is complicated by an injury suffered by backup Matt Fink, who came into the game for the fourth quarter on Saturday. While scrambling for a first down, the redshirt sophomore took a massive hit. As it turns out, that hit broke three ribs and has Fink sidelined for the time being.

That leaves the Trojans with just one scholarship quarterback, Jack Sears, available to practice this week. He will practice like a starter, Helton said, with walk ons like Holden Thomas, who himself recently returned from a lengthy injury absence, available to take second team reps.

The quarterbacks are only the tip of the iceberg for USC’s current injury picture as well.

Running back Aca’Cedric Ware didn’t receive any carries against Utah largely because he injured his shoulder, specifically picking up an AC shoulder sprain and shoulder sublexation, according to Helton.

Safety Talanoa Hufanga exited and later returned from Saturday’s game with a lower back strain while Marvell Tell suffered “bumps and bruises” against the Utes as well. Tell came out specifically holding his wrist at one point, but he was able to return.

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Defensive backs Olaijah Griffin and Jonathan Lockett did not travel with the team because of a shoulder and hip injury respectively.

At linebacker, Cameron Smith tried to play through the hamstring injury which kept him out against Colorado but ultimately couldn’t continue. Helton is hopeful of getting him back for the ASU game, but that will remain to be seen.

Meanwhile, fellow linebacker John Houston suffered a hand and rib contusion. On the outside, Christian Rector and Jordan Iosefa each had an AC shoulder sprain while the former also picked up a quad contusion.

USC Injury Report

  • Out for the season
    • LB Porter Gustin (ankle)
    • LB Tayler Katoa (LDS Mission)
    • DB Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder)
    • K Chase McGrath (knee)
  • Out
    • QB Matt Fink (ribs)
    • TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (quad)
    • LB Oluwole Betiku (hip)
    • LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
    • DB Isaac Taylor-Stuart (ankle)
  • Questionable
    • QB JT Daniels (concussion)
    • RB Aca’Cedric Ware (shoulder)
    • OL Jacob Daniel (knee)
    • DL Malik Dorton (ankle)
    • DL Brandon Pili (shoulder)
    • DL Christian Rector (shoulder)
    • DL Caleb Trembaly (foot)
    • LB Jordan Iosefa (shoulder)
    • LB Cameron Smith (hamstring)
    • DB Olaijah Griffin (shoulder)
    • DB Jonathan Lockett (hip)
    • DB Chase Williams (knee)
  • Probable
    • OL Clayton Bradley (back)
    • LB John Houston (hand/rib)
    • DB Talanoa Hufanga (back)
    • DB Marvell Tell (wrist)

The litany of injuries continued on the defensive line where Malik Dorton aggravated the ankle injury which has dogged him for weeks and Brandon Pili sprained his shoulder.

Many of those players played through those injuries, but their status going forward will be clarified during the coming week of practice.