Miami Football: Effect of Brandon Linder's Injury on Offensive Line
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As the Miami Hurricanes football team moves closer to the first of three scrimmages, head coach Al Golden will be going forward without one starting offensive lineman.
Senior and starting right guard Brandon Linder suffered a left leg injury recently and currently is not practicing.
Behind a paywall, Rivals.com noted Golden said that Linder's injury will not require surgery.
"He's a little bit banged up in his knee, and we're just going to take it easy with him and make sure we give him an opportunity to heal and hold him out."
With returning senior Shane McDermott already ruled out this spring, Linder’s injury means other members of the offensive line will see more reps during spring practice.
Though it will hurt, Miami will not be suffering without McDermott or Linder because of the younger players.
Also, the Hurricanes have plenty of experience with returning starters Malcolm Bunche, Jon Feliciano and Seantrel Henderson still participating in spring practice.
Rivals.com also reported that Golden said sophomore tackle Ereck Flowers has been impressive to this point. While he will probably not make the transition to a guard spot because of Linder’s injury, it’s something to consider.
Which lineman do you think will have the best spring in Linder's place?
One player to really watch for now is Danny Isidora, a redshirt freshman from Cypress Bay High School.
He may not have seen playing time in 2012, but Isidora is a big-bodied lineman listed at 6’4”, 308 pounds with lots of potential.
Rivals.com reported that Golden said Isidora "has been a really pleasant surprise" this spring.
Early-enrollee Hunter Knighton is another player to look for to get extra reps, but he has been practicing as a center during his short time at Miami.
Knighton is one of the more flexible players on the team as he just arrived in Coral Gables a few short months ago.
With that being said, Stephen Morris told Rivals.com that Knighton "has done an unbelievable job right now" playing center.
So a move is not likely.
Defensive tackle Jacoby Briscoe, who I highlighted as an under-the-radar player to watch this spring, switched to an offensive line position this week. He is seeing reps due to Linder's injury as well.
According to the school's official roster, Briscoe also changed his number from 89 to 68.
Between the depth and ability that Flowers, Isidora and Briscoe each provide, the unfortunate injuries to starting players will not affect the Canes in a bad way.
This will benefit the ‘Canes in the long run because four current starters graduate following the 2013 season.
Extra snaps that second-string players get this spring are going to prove invaluable moving forward.
An upcoming scrimmage will take place at Miami area Traz-Powell Stadium on Saturday, March 23 at 10 a.m. ET and is open to the public.
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