Friday, August 19, 2005

Injuries mount

There have been a recent rash of injuries at practice and the coaching staff is concerned. Three players, starting left tackle Stephon Heyer, backup OLB Erin Henderson, and running back JP Humber all suffered season ending knee injuries. Heyer's injury is the most devastating of the three since there is no proven backup and the staff was counting on his experience. Henderson was showing some tremendous promise in the spring and would have been a solid contributor.

Other injuries:

Dan Melendez: battling knee problems has postponed surgery for now
Jo Jo Walker: bruised hip, will be back soon
Derrick Fenner: strained hamstring

Mario Merrills: sprained ankle, may cost him the starting job

Gerrick Glig: sprained knee

Richard Taylor: broken hand out 2 weeks
Josh Wilson: laceration on shin, non-contact drills only

Position Battles

OT: Dane Randolph could not capitalize on the opportunity presented by Heyer's injury. Derrick Miller has been moved from TE to OT and is starting at the moment. The coaches are trying to get prep phenom Jared Gaither ready as soon as possible. My guess is by the 3rd game if all goes well. Edwin Williams won the battle at center as I expected and Andrew Crummey will shift to guard.

RB: Mario Merrills injury opens up this competition. Lance Ball is making a late push to supplant Keon Lattimore.

WR: The ailing knee of Dan Melendez gives some of the young receivers a chance to shine. Darrius Heyward-Bey played very well in the final scrimmage including turning a 5 yard pattern into a 70 yard touchdown. The starters, Jo Jo Walker and Derrick Fenner, are likely set.

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