Thursday, August 11, 2011
16 players miss practice with injuries
By Pedro Moura
Injuries started to mount Wednesday, but Thursday they just took control.
It was the biggest story of the Trojans' practice on Howard Jones Field. It took coach Lane Kiffin 40 seconds in meeting with the media afterward just to list all the various ailments and injuries and then another couple of minutes to detail some of them.
In total, 16 scholarship players sat out practice Thursday because of injuries -- of which four were new injuries or things that hadn't yet caused the players to miss practice this fall.
"We're seeing the price that you pay for doing what we're doing," Kiffin said. "And it's a decision we made to go this direction, to tackle and have physical practices the way that we are, because we think it's too critical to prepare our guys for game-like situations.
"And so this is the downside to it."
The list of 16 players: defensive tackles J.R. Tavai (hamstring) and Christian Tupou (knee), cornerbacks Brian Baucham (hamstring), Tony Burnett (ankle), Torin Harris (concussion) and Patrick Hall (knee), safeties Demetrius Wright (hip), T.J. McDonald (ankle) and Jawanza Starling (undisclosed), linebacker Chris Galippo (shoulder) and Dion Bailey (foot), offensive guard Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder), center Cody Temple (back), quarterback Jesse Scroggins (thumb), tight end Christian Thomas (hip) and receiver Robert Woods (ankle).
The most serious of those is Scroggins', with his injured right thumb requiring surgery that will sideline him for an unidentified amount of time. We'll go over the implications to the rest of the injuries Friday.
With 79 scholarship players in camp for the Trojans, that means more than 20 percent of the team was out of commission Thursday. And that's not counting running back Marc Tyler, who's suspended.