Monday, September 10, 2012
Alabama loses Fowler for the season
By Chris Low
Two weeks into the season, and there are several key injuries around the league.
Here’s a breakdown by team:
Alabama: The Crimson Tide will be without running back Jalston Fowler for the rest of the season.
Coach Nick Saban said Falston injured his left knee last week against Western Kentucky and would undergo surgery. The 242-pound junior was the Tide’s bigger back and played several different roles, including running back, fullback and H-back.
Arkansas: Quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered a head injury last week in the loss to Louisiana-Monroe, and he has not been cleared to return to practice. He’s questionable for Saturday’s game with No. 1-ranked Alabama, and coach John L. Smith said the Hogs would prepare with Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell taking the quarterback reps in practice.
Smith said Wilson still had some “grogginess” and would not return to the field until he was symptom-free and cleared by doctors.
“If we get Tyler back, then that would be icing on the cake for us,” Smith said.
Allen filled in after Wilson was knocked from the game last weekend. Mitchell was Wilson’s backup last season, but moved to receiver. Neither player has ever started a game at quarterback.
Starting cornerback Tevin Mitchel has been ruled out of the Alabama game after suffering an injury to his neck/spine last week, and he could be out for several weeks. Mitchel was taken off the field on a stretcher after a crushing hit. He was kept in Little Rock over the weekend for observation, but was supposed to return Monday.
Running back Kody Walker broke his leg and will miss the rest of the season. The Hogs were already without fullback Kiero Small, who underwent foot surgery last week and will miss the next 6 to 12 weeks. Small was also working some at linebacker.
Florida: The big blow for the Gators was junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who had surgery on his thumb Monday and will miss the next four weeks.
Cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) will also miss the next month. Riggs played in the Gators’ nickel package.
In addition, coach Will Muschamp said defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell wouldn't play this season after having a setback in his recovery from an ACL tear. The Gators were hoping to get Powell back at some point this season. The plan now is for him to redshirt.
Freshman Antonio Morrison will replace Jenkins at weak side linebacker after recording six tackles in relief of Jenkins against Texas A&M. The Gators will also get safety De’Ante Saunders back this week after he missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, so that will help offset Riggs’ injury.
Muschamp said running back Mike Gillislee should be ready to go against Tennessee after suffering a groin injury last week. Gillislee missed most of the fourth quarter after scoring on a 12-yard touchdown. Groin injuries can be tricky, and they also tend to linger.
Missouri: The Tigers’ starting offensive line is going to have another new look to it this week against Arizona State.
Sixth-year senior left tackle Elvis Fisher injured his knee against Georgia and is out indefinitely. Fisher missed all of last season after rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee. Right guard Jack Meiners is questionable after not playing last week with a knee injury.
With Fisher out, junior Justin Britt is moving from right tackle to left tackle. Britt played on the left side last season. Sophomore Mitch Morse is moving from center to right tackle, and redshirt freshman Brad McNulty will step into a starting role at center.
Linebacker Zaviar Gooden (hamstring) is also out for the Arizona State game.
South Carolina: Coach Steve Spurrier said quarterback Connor Shaw probably wouldn’t practice until Wednesday of this week.
Shaw missed the East Carolina game last week with a deep shoulder bruise. If he’s 100 percent this week in practice, he’ll likely start Saturday against UAB. If not, the Gamecocks will go again with Dylan Thompson, who passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the 48-10 win over East Carolina.