As the USC Trojans gear up to face the Utah State Aggies in the Coliseum on Saturday, they will likely be doing so without offensive playmaker Silas Redd and Darreus Rogers.
The absence of Rogers could be a big deal against the Aggies; he's stepped up to be USC's No. 3 wide receiver, and his 6'2" frame makes him an easy target for Cody Kessler. Against Boston College, he went down with a foot injury and did not return.
It has been reported that he suffered a high ankle sprain, according to L.A. Daily News' Scott Wolf. Per USC's decision to keep injury news mum, head coach Lane Kiffin didn't confirm this, but Rogers did not practice all week, so it would be a surprise if we saw him suit up on Saturday.
With Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor healthy, USC's passing game will surely survive without Rogers, but a high ankle sprain could very easily derail his hopes of being a major contributor this season. He will undoubtedly be out at least a week, possibly more depending on the severity of it.
As far as Redd is concerned, this is nothing new; he's missed the first three games due to an unspecified injury, and head coach Lane Kiffin has given nothing on the matter. Each week, he says that he hopes Redd can play, but so far that has yet to be the case. Unlike Rogers, though, Redd could easily find himself out of a job if he doesn't come back soon.
To be sure, Kiffin and the coaches could be holding out on Redd until after this week, when USC gets into what will arguably be the defining stretch of games for the Trojans. Since Tre Madden and Justin Davis are playing so well, there's no pressure to rush Redd back into competition.
That being said, if Redd does have a long way to go in terms of recovery, he could be out of luck.
When he left Penn State for USC in the summer of 2012, he left a bad situation for what he thought would be a better one. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case.
Redd wasn't fully healthy in 2012, though he did put up impressive figures—he had 167 rushes for 905 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. During the offseason, he tore his meniscus and missed most of spring and fall camps, which brings us to where things are now.
While Rogers has the advantage of a shallow wide receiving corps, running back Redd is in an entirely different situation. Not only are Madden and Davis dominating, but Buck Allen, Ty Isaac, and D.J. Morgan are behind them, waiting for their chance to shine. There's enough depth there that the Trojans don't need Redd immediately, and that could be detrimental to his eventual return.
Of course, if he does return soon, we can expect him and Madden to control the backfield, serving as the one-two punch USC has been looking to reestablish since Reggie Bush and LenDale White terrorized opponents with their Thunder and Lighting attack.
It will be at least another week, however, until we see the Madden/Redd tandem in action.