Fall Camp Day Eight: Notes & Quick Hits

Monday marked the second week of fall camp at USC with noticeably fewer players available to participate in practice than just a day ago.

If an Injury Report Existed…

It would have been full of information after Monday afternoon's practice.

By the time practice ended, the entire first string of linebackers was watching from the sidelines, including Lamar Dawson, Dion Bailey, and Hayes Pullard.

Once again, USC head coach Lane Kiffin's new policy this fall is to not discuss injuries, so here's the speculation.

Dawson is walking around in a boot on his right leg, Bailey has a sling holding his left arm at a 90 degree angle, and Pullard had no visible or telling sign of an injury, though he did have his left ankle taped.

Of the three, Dawson and Bailey look the most serious. How serious? Only time will tell.

Defensive end Greg Townsend went down Sunday afternoon at the line of scrimmage, the area of concern seemed to be his right ankle. He was at practice Monday wearing a boot and not participating in drills.

As though the defensive line is not thin enough, defensive end J.R. Tavai left practice early. He had his left leg heavily taped.

Here's the cornerback roundup, Brian Bauchum, Torin Harris, and Anthony Brown did not practice. Nickell Robey was limited.

That was all just the defense.

The offense?

Left tackle Aundrey Walker is still out. He had the wrist guard back on his right wrist. He participated in warm-ups and the initial linemen drills with no contact.

Receiver Marqise Lee did not participate in the second half of practice and was standing on the sidelines watching without pads on. There were no telltale signs of an injury, however when asked why he was not participating, Kiffin said "We don't really discuss injuries," so assume he's injured.

Second String Linebackers Step Up

In place of the injured first string, Tony Burnett, Scott Starr, and Anthony Sarao took first team reps.

"I think Scott has really had a better couple of days here," Kiffin said after watching Starr fill in at middle linebacker. "Even though he'd been here in the spring, a lot of stuff is being thrown at him and hopefully, whether you were here in the spring or not, this is where you kind of see some freshmen turn the corner."

As the injuries pile up, redshirt freshman Anthony Sarao continues to collect reps.

"Anthony has done a really good job on special teams and on defense," Kiffin said after Sunday afternoon's practice. "We've given him a lot of snaps with Hayes moving inside, he's played a lot with the ones. He's a very savvy player and has a really good approach to the game."

Injuries Are Expected

It could be easy to lament over the number of players who are merely spectators at practice, but Kiffin continues to take the glass half-full approach.

When asked about all three starters at linebacker being sidelined he said, "Look at the bright side, those other guys get reps, all three of those guys have started games before, two of them playing a ton of snaps."

"A lot of times those things happen and they end up being the best thing in the long run," Kiffin said, "as long as they are not long term things."

Although not all other college teams are limited to only 75 scholarship players, there's no doubt many of them are having the same fall camp experience as the Trojans.

"I don't think there are any teams around the country that are fully healthy in training camp," Kiffin said. "You can't, they [NCAA] don't let you practice in the summer and so regardless of how much conditioning you do, it's not football."

"It's always got to happen and you've just got to hope that it's not long term stuff," he said, "and that by the time you get to really the preparation for the first game, you hope you're full strength then."

Quick Hits

Offensive lineman Max Tuerk will now wear jersey number 75, instead of the original 67 which will now be worn by David Garness.

Safety Josh Shaw's reps continue to be at cornerback. Nickell Robey has been providing Shaw with instruction on the sideline and even stayed after practice with Shaw today to provide explanations and demonstrations.

Fullback Soma Vainuku had a couple of carries for yards during 11 on 11 drills. Vainuku routinely is one of the last players to leave practice every night after getting in extra reps.

Receiver George Farmer participated in one-on-one drills today. He had a nice grab over Shaw in the end zone.

Walk-on freshman cornerback Ryan Dillard blocked a field goal on special teams.

Redshirt sophomore tight end Randall Telfer ran a deep route and completed a circus like catch over freshman cornerback Kevon Seymour.

During the last 11 on 11 drill of the day, the starting defensive line consisted of Wes Horton, Antwaun Woods, George Uko, and Morgan Breslin.

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