Injury Bug

Florida State returns to practice tonight to begin preparations for Saturday's road game at Syracuse. The two teams last met in 1991 in Tallahassee, with the Seminoles winning 46-14. The Orange are coming off a 41-31 win over Rutgers as tailabck <b>Walter Reyes</b> finished with 237 rushing yards and two scores. FSU heads into this week of practice with injury concerns on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Click here for details.

After winning three consecutive home games, the eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles now cast an eye towards Syracuse.

The Seminoles will play in a dome (Carrier Dome) for the first time since losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003.

Unlike Sugar Bowl preparations, when FSU has the opportunity to get acclimated to stadium surroundings that include artificial turf, the Seminoles won't have time on their hands.

FSU coach Bobby Bowden, however, doesn't forsee a problem.

"I have never had a problem with a team that went from grass to the rug," Bowden said.

"I know last time we went up there we played real good but you need a little workout right before the game. The biggest difference I have found on the rug is that you will stop just like that, it is a quicker game and you stop quicker but you better have your ankles wrapped and things like that and then it is just a matter of go out there, warm up, and get the feel of it and get comfortable with it."

Of course, another concern is FSU's injury situation.

The Seminoles are facing their most serious health concerns of the season.

For starters, Wyatt Sexton is the only healthy scholarship quarterback. While Chris Rix had indicated he hoped to return for this week's game, it's unlikely he will be available.

Additionally, true freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford suffered a high ankle sprain and an Achilles heal sprain when sacked on his only play of the game. It appears the Seminoles could ask for a medical hardship through petition to the NCAA.

FSU coach Bobby Bowden blamed himself for calling the play.

"Drew's a pretty good runner and I thought he would be able to break it for a big play,'' Bowden said.

"I should have known better. It didn't work out. Now, I didn't put the sprained ankle part of it into the play.''

Bowden again repeated he would rather not play the Seminoles' other heralded freshman quarterback, Xavier Lee. So far this year, Lee has been used as the No. 4 quarterback and has had limited practice with the second or third team offense.

"He's got all kinds of potential, but he needs time,'' Bowden said.

"I think you've got to see how close Chris is to being back. Then maybe you can get by this week with a walkon (as the backup). Xavier needs to redshirt and I sure would hate to waste this year.''

The Seminoles will turn to walkon Tommy Keane, a sophomore from Miami, who played the final series Saturday.

In addition, the Seminoles could be without two starting defensive linemen -- end Eric Moore and nosetackle Broderick Bunkley. Both sustained left ankle sprains.

Wide receiver Willie Reid suffered a hamstring injury, forcing him out of action in the second half.

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