Two of USC’s key backups, tight end Christian Thomas and linebacker Marquis Simmons, will undergo season-ending surgeries and miss the rest of the year, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin announced Wednesday.
Thomas, a sophomore from Palmdale, has been bothered by hip problems for much of the year. He was kept out of most of fall camp because of the injury but played on special teams against Syracuse before re-aggravating his hip.
Simmons, a redshirt sophomore from Compton, played in the first two games against Minnesota and Utah but hasn’t practiced since with a neck injury. He has worn a neck brace to practice the past two weeks and watched the sessions from the sideline.
“It’s that time of year when injuries start to mount,” Kiffin said. “A lot of times it’s the down-the-line guys that affect you with your service teams and stuff, so we need guys to step up all over the place.”
The Trojans will rely on freshman Tre Madden to replace Simmons as the backup strongside linebacker and senior Ross Cumming to fill in for Thomas as the No. 3 tight end.
Kiffin also announced that offensive linemen Abe Markowitz (foot) and Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder) had undergone season-ending surgeries, as expected.