Friday, August 17, 2012
Practice notes: Manuel improves, Wilder out
By David M. Hale
EJ Manuel jogged out across the practice fields Friday afternoon, tossed a football with his fellow quarterbacks for a few minutes, then joined the line of players doing warm-ups along the far sideline.
There was no limp, no walking boot and no brace on the ankle.
As Manuel high stepped his way across the field, Jimbo Fisher turned to a small contingent of reporters and smiled.
"See, I told you (Manuel) wasn't dead," he joked.
Indeed, Fisher's appraisal of Manuel's mild ankle injury was perhaps even a bit pessimistic after Thursday's practice, when he guessed it might be two or three days before the quarterback was practicing at full strength.
Instead, Manuel appeared no worse for the wear Friday as the Seminoles went through a light workout in shorts and shells.
"There wasn't no sense to push him," Fisher had said of his decision to hold Manuel out of Thursday's scrimmage. "We got a chance to push some of these other quarterbacks. If we had a game though, he'd have played."
The games are still two weeks away, and by the looks of things Friday, the minor mishap when a lineman rolled onto Manuel's ankle Wednesday will be a distant memory by then.
"We were lucky," Fisher said. "It was a freak thing, a freak accident."
Wilder, Goldman sit out
Aside from his pointed barb regarding Manuel's health, Fisher didn't address the media Friday, which leaves some questions regarding the health of running back James Wilder Jr. and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
Wilder reported to practice with his right arm in a sling Friday, a bit of a surprise following what seemed to be a solid performance a day earlier.
Wilder has been a featured back in goal-line and power formations thus far, and Fisher praised his solid work during Thursday's scrimmage -- while never mentioning a potential injury.
"Red zone and goal line offense was real good," Fisher said. "Wilder had some nice runs."
Wilder is slotted as the No. 3 running back at the moment, but depth is a huge concern at the position.
The top two runners on the depth chart -- senior Chris Thompson and sophomore Devonta Freeman -- missed spring practice with back injuries. Freshman Mario Pender will miss the season after groin surgery.
Should Wilder miss any time, fullback Lonnie Pryor would likely step into the role.
Meanwhile, Goldman, a five-star recruit, spent the early parts of Friday's practice on the exercise bike with a brace on his right knee.
Goldman figured to be in the mix at defensive tackle, particularly with the pectoral injury to senior Anthony McCloud.
"He has the ability, the work ethic," defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said of Goldman's chances at regular playing time this season. "There's nothing to say that would stop him from doing that. I anticipate him doing that. I anticipate him continuing to improve and earn playing time."
Glauser gets work
Right tackle Daniel Glauser missed Thursday's scrimmage, too, with what Fisher described as a minor foot injury.
Like Manuel, Glauser didn't appear to be in any pain during Friday's practice, going through early drills and warm-ups without limitation, though his contact during blocking drills was kept light.
Fellow junior college transfer Menelik Watson continues to get the first-team reps at right tackle.
Offensive linemen Jacob Fahrenkrug was in a walking boot and did not participate in Friday's practice. ... Lineman Garrett Faircloth also sat out of Friday's workouts. ... Florida State returns to two-a-days tomorrow.