Florida State loses 2 starters to injury

Updated: October 11, 2011, 2:10 AM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State has lost two of its starters, both possibly for the rest of the season.

Tailback Chris Thompson, who has been playing with a stress fracture in the back, suffered two broken vertebrae on his first carry in last Saturday's 35-30 loss at Wake Forest, and won't be back this year.

Offensive tackle Andrew Datko won't play this Saturday at Duke and coach Jimbo Fisher fears he's lost his four-year starter for the rest of the season.

"He's got to have another surgery," Fisher said Monday. "I don't want to say he won't, but I doubt he'll play the rest of the year."

Datko would be replaced by 17-year-old freshman Bobby Hart at left tackle. With Rashad Greene already penned in as a starter at one of the wide receiver positions and Nick O'Leary at tight end, the Seminoles could start three true freshmen Saturday.

Florida State (2-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hopes to snap a three-game losing streak at Duke (3-2, 1-0 ACC) Saturday.

Thompson, who led the team in rushing a year ago and was called on most frequently in the Seminoles revolving door at tailback, missed much of the August preseason practices with back issues and was never able to get untracked this fall.

Thompson was hospitalized overnight Saturday for observation before returning to Tallahassee on Sunday.

"He's doing very well considering the circumstances," Fisher said.

Thompson's loss could create more playing time for 220-pound freshman James Wilder Jr., who leads the team in rushing with 85 yards and a 7.1 yards per carry average. However, Ty Jones, freshman Devonta Freeman and Jermaine Thomas were the only players listed on Monday's tentative depth chart for Saturday's game at Duke.

The Blue Devils are looking to win their fourth straight game for the first time since 1994.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press