College Football Week 2: Last-Minute Injury Updates
It’s only the second weekend of the college football season, but already, three of the top-ranked teams in the country have lost key players to season-ending injuries.
No. 3 LSU lost left tackle Chris Faulk, No. 6 Florida State lost DE Brandon Jenkins and No. 19 Michigan lost CB Blake Countess.
Sadly, injuries are a part of the game, and top teams have to deal with them every week.
Here’s a look at some of the key injuries that teams from around the country are dealing with in Week 2.
Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina: Questionable
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier told Josh Kendall of The (Columbia, S.C.) State that QB Connor Shaw is questionable for today's game against East Carolina.
Spurrier will evaluate Shaw's condition in warm-ups, but QB Dylan Thompson will get the start.
Shaw was banged up in last week's 17-13 win over Vanderbilt when he took multiple hard hits to his throwing shoulder.
Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois: Game-Time Decision
According to IlliniHQ.com, Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase will be a game-time decision for tonight's game at Arizona state.
Scheelhaase is nursing an ankle injury that he experienced in last week's 24-7 win over Western Michigan. The injury forced him to leave the game in the third quarter.
The junior signal-caller reportedly practiced on Thursday, but coach Tim Beckman has not revealed whether or not he's in the proper condition to play.
If Scheelhaase is unable to go, his backup, Reilly O'Toole, will likely get the start against the Sun Devils.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska: Questionable
Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald reported that Nebraska coach Bo Pelini confirmed that Rex Burkhead would make the trip to UCLA, but his status for the game with the Bruins is still uncertain.
Burkhead has been battling a sprained knee that limited him in practice this week.
The senior running back is a crucial figure for Nebraska's offense, and if he's unable to go, it will be a big blow to the Cornhuskers' ground game.
Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas: Probable
Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton left the Razorbacks' season-opener against Jacksonville State after just two series with what was called simply an "upper body injury."
According to The Baxter (Ark.) Bulletin, Hamilton has recovered, and he should be ready to go against Louisiana-Monroe today.
The 6'2'', 209-pound senior receiver is expected to be the team's go-to receiver this season, and he's a critical piece of the Arkansas offense.
Trey Depriest, LB, Alabama: Probable
Andrew Gribble of the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register tweeted this picture of Alabama LB Trey Depriest practicing with a heavily taped right ankle this week. All indications are, though, that Depriest should be ready to go for today's game against Western Kentucky.
The sophomore linebacker is a key member of Alabama's linebacking corps, and he's expected to have a breakout campaign in 2012.
Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina: Probable
North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard tore up Elon's defense in the Tar Heels' season opener, but he caused some concern in the second half when he didn't return due to discomfort in his left knee.
UNC head coach Larry Fedora was cautious with Bernard, given that the latter sat out all of the 2010 season with a torn knee ligament, and besides, there was really no need to put him back into the blowout.
This week, the sophomore speedster said that "he feels great" and that he'll be fine for today's game against Wake Forest.
Chris Nwoke, RB, Colorado State: Out
Colorado State will be without its best offensive player, RB Chris Nwoke, when the Rams take on North Dakota State today.
Nwoke was wearing a boot around his left ankle all week, and coach Jim McElwain thought that it would be best to keep him out of today's game.
Donnell Alexander will get the call to replace Nwoke against the Bison.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Probable
Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan left last week's game against Alabama with a leg injury.
According to coach Brady Hoke, Lewan will play against Air Force today, as the injury was less severe than it initially looked, with Hoke calling it simply a "bruise."
Lewan is the undisputed leader of the Wolverines offensive line, and his presence up front is crucial, since he's QB Denard Robinson's blindside bodyguard.
Jeremy Brown, CB, Florida: Probable
According to Florida head coach Will Muschamp, CB Jeremy Brown will return to action against Texas A&M after a year spent on the sideline with a knee injury.
Florida's secondary is already one of the strongest defensive backfields in the country, but the addition of Brown will certainly help the Gators slow down the Aggies' potentially explosive passing attack.
Bill Belton, RB, Penn State: Out
Penn State's offense will be without No. 1 running back Bill Belton against Virginia today.
According to StateCollege.com, Belton did not make the trip with the team to Charlottesville, as he was left home to receive treatment on his sprained ankle.
Since Belton won't be available, RB Derek Day will likely see most of the carries against the Cavaliers.
USC Defenders Wes Horton, Torin Harris, Dion Bailey and Lamar Dawson: Probable
USC was a little bit banged up on defense this week, as defensive end Wes Horton, linebackers Dion Bailey and Lamar Dawson, and cornerback Torin Harris were all dealing with various injuries.
According to SBnation.com, the injuries aren't expected to keep any of the four players out of today's game against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
All four players are key veteran starters for USC's defense.
Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse: Probable
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement on his Facebook page on Friday that the team's top wide receiver, Alec Lemon, will indeed return to action for today's game against USC.
Lemon was held out of the season opener against Northwestern last week with a lower-body injury.
The senior receiver is arguably Syrcause's most valuable offensive player. If the Orange want to hang with the Trojans, they're going to need a big day out of Lemon at MetLife Stadium.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR/CB, Georgia: Probable
According to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia head coach Mark Richt has said that he was encouraged by CB Malcolm Mitchell's progress this week in practice.
Richt said that Mitchell will make the trip with the team to Missouri, and it seems as if the sophomore should be ready to play against the Tigers.
The Bulldogs could use the versatile sophomore's size and athleticism in the secondary, given that Missouri has two dangerous receiving threats in T.J. Moe and Dorial Green-Beckham.