Linebacker Cameron Smith is likely to miss the ASU game while JT Daniels remains in concussion protocol. Here’s the USC football injury report for Oct. 24.
USC football will face yet another week without senior captain Cameron Smith thanks to an old knee injury flaring up along with an already-nagging hamstring problem.
Smith suited up on Tuesday but worked exclusively with a trainer. By Wednesday, he was out of pads and limited to spectating.
The hamstring injury has kept him out for the better part of two weeks, but an added concern cropped up this week as fluid built up in his surgically-repaired knee. Doctors drained the fluid and gave him injections. As a result, missing practice is just the beginning.
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“It does not look favorable for this week,” head coach Clay Helton said.
For the past two weeks, Smith’s position has been covered by true freshman linebacker Palaie Gaoteote and he figures to step in once more as a starter. Fortunately, his strong performances in that spot have given the Trojans some more leeway not to rush Smith back early.
“We’ll let him get over that and get him healthy,” Helton said. “A healthy Cam is a good thing and thank goodness we’ve got IE and Reuben, who are playing good ball right now.”
The word was less definitive at quarterback where JT Daniels has yet to pass concussion protocol. Though he seemed to be making progress early in the week, he was at the same stage on Wednesday as he was on Tuesday, which will put his participation more in doubt.
Helton set a deadline for Daniels to be cleared in order to play.
“If we get to Friday and it’s not happening then I’ll go ahead and say Jack [Sears] is going to be the starter,” said Helton.
PRACTICE NOTES: “Whatever it takes” game vs. ASU
There were a couple of new injuries picked up on Wednesday. Tight end Tyler Petite was held out with a sore shoulder, leaving just two healthy scholarship tight ends available.
Offensive lineman Chuma Edoga was limited with a sore knee. He was replaced by Jalen McKenzie at right tackle.
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)
- QB Matt Fink (ribs)
- TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (quad)
- DL Caleb Trembaly (knee)
- LB Oluwole Betiku (hip)
- LB Cameron Smith (hamstring)
- LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
- DB Olaijah Griffin (shoulder)
- DB Isaac Taylor-Stuart (ankle)
- DB Chase Williams (knee)
- QB JT Daniels (concussion)
- TE Tyler Petite (shoulder)
- OL Jacob Daniel (knee)
- DB Jonathan Lockett (hip)
- RB Aca’Cedric Ware (shoulder)
- OL Clayton Bradley (back)
- OL Chuma Edoga (knee)
- DL Malik Dorton (ankle)
- DL Brandon Pili (shoulder)
- DL Christian Rector (shoulder)
- LB John Houston (hand/rib)
- LB Jordan Iosefa (shoulder)
- DB Talanoa Hufanga (back)
- DB Marvell Tell (wrist)
Meanwhile, cornerback Olaijah Griffin was back sidelined after participating in Tuesday’s full pads practice. He has been held out with a shoulder injury and appears to have had a setback.
Helton also updated the injury status of defensive lineman Caleb Tremblay, who has missed practice for a couple of weeks. The JUCO transfer has tendinitis of the knee and faces multiple weeks out.
As a result of the injury issue, the Trojans will consider redshirting him, potentially giving him two years beyond this one to contribute at USC. He has already played in two games this season, but new redshirt rules allowing for four games of participation while still maintaining a redshirt will give him some flexibility to play twice more once he returns healthy.