Monday, September 19, 2011
Noles QB EJ Manuel day to day
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Quarterback EJ Manuel's availability for 11th-ranked Florida State's Atlantic Coast Conference opener at Clemson is on a day-to-day basis, coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday.
Manuel, who didn't practice Monday, is one of several Seminole offensive players who could miss the team's first road test of the young season. Fisher had only four scholarship receivers healthy at Monday's practice.
"It affects you," the second-year head coach conceded. "Injuries are a part of football. We'll move around and do differed personnel groupings."
Manuel sprained his non-throwing left shoulder in Saturday's 23-13 loss to top-ranked Oklahoma, and doctors checked him again Monday to see if the injury was severe enough to keep him out of the Clemson game.
Fisher said an MRI on Manuel revealed no structural damage.
ESPN.com's Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson write about all things ACC in the conference blog.
"We'll see how it goes," Fisher said.
"It's a concern," he said. "You've got to make sure it doesn't affect your throwing motion."
Redshirt freshman Clint Trickett would get his first start if Manuel can't go against the 21st-ranked Tigers (3-0).
"He was on top of things," Fisher said about his backup quarterback's practice Monday. "Played really well."
The Seminoles' already hard-hit receiving corps got yet another jolt Monday when Fisher announced that the team's second leading receiver this season, sophomore Scooter Haggins, requires surgery to repair a broken left hand sustained against the Sooners. Haggins who has 11 catches on the season, will miss four to six weeks.
The Seminoles (2-1) might also be without receivers Bert Reed and Kenny Shaw for this weekend's critical ACC opener.
Reed is trying to shake off the effects of an ankle sprain sustained in a 62-10 win over Charleston Southern on Sept. 10. Shaw was removed by ambulance early in the Oklahoma game after a vicious helmet-to-helmet collision with two Sooners defenders.
Shaw was taken to a hospital following the scary hit, but returned to the Florida State sideline late in the game.
"He was much, much better than we anticipated," Fisher said Monday. "I don't know if I'm optimistic, but I feel very good."
Florida State has been without junior wide receiver Willie Haulstead all season because of ongoing concussion symptoms. Fisher said Haulstead could be redshirted if he's unable to return soon.
Running back Chris Thompson, last year's leading rusher, has been hampered with a stress fracture in his back and hasn't displayed the explosiveness he exhibited last season.
Aside from a 19-yard run in the opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Thompson has managed just 26 yards on 16 carries.
"We've got to get better in the running game," Fisher. "We've got to block better."
Florida State has hardly used its most experienced back, senior Jermaine Thomas, who has had just four carries this season. Thomas has 1,827 career yards rushing and a 5.7 per carry average.