Updates from Friday, Aug. 22
Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times have the latest on Madden's injury status:
Madden is nursing a toe injury that could make him questionable for the first game.
Madden, who did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, saw a foot specialist but USC was awaiting exam results, Coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice.
"We're taking every precautionary action we can to make sure that Tre is great and ready to go when his time is called again," Sarkisian said.
USC junior running back Tre Madden has spent his collegiate career battling injuries, and it appears the start to 2014 will be no different.
According to new head coach Steve Sarkisian, via the Orange Country Register's Michael Lev, Madden is currently sidelined due to a bout with turf toe:
Sarkisian did not have a timetable for RB Tre Madden, who has turf toe. Madden had a boot on his right foot during practice tonight.— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) August 21, 2014
After playing linebacker as a freshman, Madden missed the 2012 campaign after tearing his ACL and was hampered last season by hamstring and ankle injuries.
He still managed to tally 904 yards from scrimmage (703 rushing, 201 receiving) and seven touchdowns on 153 touches (138 rushes, 15 receptions) for the Trojans last year, though, and expectations remain high heading into 2014.
"It’s really cool to see Tre out here sharing reps with Buck," quarterback Cody Kessler said this week, via the Orange County Register's Rich Hammond. "He’s definitely a big asset for this team. I think him and Buck will be a really good one-two punch."
For now that will have to put on hold, though. Turf toe is the kind of injury that can linger, and it's unclear if Madden will be ready to go for the Trojans' opener against Fresno State on Aug. 30.
Fortunately, Sark has depth at the position. Javorius Allen was tremendous down the stretch last season, while Justin Davis averaged a scintillating 6.8 yards per carry before breaking his ankle.
"We all want to compete," Madden said. "We’re all going to get on the field, and whoever has the fresh legs is going to play. That’s what we’re looking at right now."
Despite the depth, however, USC is unquestionably in a better position to make some noise in the Pac-12 when Madden is healthy.