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Triage Time: Houston, We Have Many Problems….


Who is left standing in Houston?

QB Case Keenum, Houston – Knee

Keenum’s season is over due to an ACL sprain (the anterior cruciate ligament prevents anterior movement of the tibia on the femur). His earliest return after surgery and a long, exhaustive rehabilitation regime would be next spring. Keenum, a senior, would have to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt in order to gain a 5th year of eligibility. With the proper medical documentation, it is likely that the NCAA would grant the additional year.  However, it is not an automatic since he was playing in the 3rd game of the season when injured. Also, Keenum will have to decide if he wants to play at the collegiate level for another year. As a Heisman prospect, he had a shot at being drafted in the first or second round by the pros.  Now, he may have to prove that his injured knee will allow him to perform as he did prior to the injury. There is no doubt that his best draft strategy would be to play another season and be relatively injury free. Any significant injury is unfortunate, and this one is compounded by the timing which will put it on the cusp as far as the medical redshirt application is concerned. For the Cougars, Case’s loss is compounded by his back-up fracturing his clavicle (collarbone) in the same UCLA game and being lost for 6-8 weeks. They must now depend on freshman Terrence Broadway as the starter and yet another freshman as their back-up QB as they head into the meat of a tough Conference USA schedule.

RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech – Hamstring

The last thing the Hokies need right now is an injury to an important player like Williams. The Hokies season rushing record holder suffered a hamstring strain against Eastern Carolina and had to be helped off the field. Fortunately, the strain was to the middle aspect (belly) of the muscle which is less severe than at the top or bottom (origin or insertion), and Williams may not miss more than one game. Upon return, he should be able to do all those things which made him a Freshman All-American last year and give the Hokies the running game that is so important to their offense.

RB Armando Allen, Notre Dame – Finger

Allen suffered a fractured finger against Michigan State. Sources in South Bend indicate that he will be ready to play this week against Stanford. The finger will most likely be “buddy taped” to the finger next to it for support. This should have no effect whatsoever with his ability on running plays, but could hinder him in pass catching. He will not be returning punts this week because of the difficulty he could experience in catching the ball.

WR Ryan Whalen, Stanford – Arm

Whalen suffered a dislocated left elbow last week and as of late Wednesday, is still in a sling and definitely not practicing. He will miss the Notre Dame game this weekend and probably the next two games afterward. When he does return, he will most likely have to wear a brace which could make it more difficult to fight off defensive backs and to fully extend his left arm to catch a pass.

RB Thomas Merriweather, Miami of Ohio – Blurred Vision

Merriweather had to leave last week’s game against Colorado State with a diagnosis of “blurred vision”. Chances are this blurred vision was secondary to a concussion. Under new concussion guidelines, an athlete cannot return to activity until all symptoms, including the blurred vision, completely disappear. Look for Merriweather to be held out of this week’s game against Missouri and then be full go for the following week.

TE David Paulson, Oregon – Muscle Strain

Paulson has been upgraded to “Probable” for this week’s Ducks clash against PAC 10 Rival Arizona State. Paulson has been receiving treatment all week and should be good to go without any restrictions by Saturday.

RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon – Groin Strain

Barner left the Portland State game last week with a minor groin strain. He probably would have left the game early anyways because of the score differential.  He has gotten plenty of rest and treatment this week and should be on the field for Arizona State this weekend. Expect the groin to be wrapped which will not rob any of his speed or straight away running ability, but could slightly hamper his ability to make rapid starts and stops as well as directional changes.

RB Dan Dierking, Purdue – Rib Injury

Dierking, the Boilermaker’s leading rusher, has been nursing bruised ribs for several weeks. The problem with bruised ribs is pain, not structural damage. Everytime contact is made with the ribs, it feels like a knife is stabbing you. Dierking should not play much, if at all, against Toledo this week and when he does play, he will be wearing a rib protecting flak jacket. Unless these contused ribs are allowed to fully heal, this injury could linger throughout the season.

WR Queron Pratt, Rutgers –  Shoulder

Pratt suffered a shoulder seperation (acromioclavicular sprain) during preseason and has yet to play a game for the Scarlet Knights. Pratt is a redshirt Freshman (did not play last season) and was expected to be a major part of the Rutgers receiving corps. Pratt is scheduled to play in the the North Carolina game this week, but expect a lot of rust due to the lost playing time. Best guess is that he will see only spot duty and then continue to work his way into the starting line-up as the season progresses.  Keep an eye on him as a late fantasy pickup from the waiver wire.

RB Brynn Harvey, Central Florida – Knee

Harvey, the team’s leading rusher for the last two years, was injured in Spring practice and required surgery to repair his knee. His recovery and rehabilitation has been right on schedule and he is expected to be able to return to play either October 6 against UAB or the following week against Marshall. Harvey is an outstanding runner and the Golden Knights definitely need his rushing skill to compete in this year’s tough (and now wide open with the injury situation at Houston) Conference USA race. Expect there to be a little rust from lack of game activity and it may take a few weeks for him to feel more confident in his surgically repaired knee. Once that occurs, expect some big games from this talented athlete.  Again, another player to consider as a late fantasy pickup from your waiver wire.

Dr. Carroll is a nationally certified athletic trainer and athletic training educator for over thirty years with experience at the collegiate, professional and international levels. Currently, Dr. Carroll is a Professor of Sport Science and Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at the University of Mobile. Dr. Carroll is the author of several books on sports medicine and substance abuse in sports, including his latest book, The Carroll Guide to Sports Injuries.
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One comment on “Triage Time: Houston, We Have Many Problems….

  1. [...] that looked so bad is evidently just a dislocation meaning Whalen might not miss significant time if the reports are true. But he almost certainly won’t play this week. WR Chris Owusu should see most of the passes come [...]

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