On Tuesday evening USC announced that senior cornerback Josh Shaw was reinstated to the Trojan football team. Shaw attended a 5 p.m. team meeting and will practice at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Will two light practices and a walk-through be enough for Shaw to get ready for the cross-town rivalry game against UCLA? Former Trojan cornerback Terrell Thomas has been following this USC squad closely all season and he shares his thoughts on Shaw's potential to return to the field.
"I think he can come back and play," Terrell Thomas said. "It depends on how he prepares. If he goes out there and practices like it is a game, gives 110% and stays after practice to work, he can play."
During his suspension Shaw rehabbed his ankle injuries and then continued to work out to stay in shape. But according to Thomas, when you are away from the game there is no real substitution for playing football.
"He can't play a full game," Thomas said. "It takes a while to get into game shape. It is a great opportunity to show scouts that is he ready to be a pro. It shows them that he made a mistake but can come back and recover. He is a great character guy who made bad decision. I think it is great for USC and for Shaw."
Thomas does think Shaw can be effective against UCLA, despite being away from the team for nearly three months.
"They can use him sort of like how they use Adoree Jackson on the offensive side," he said. "You can use him in limited situations."
If USC keeps to the practice schedule of last week, Wednesday's practice will not even be in shoulder pads after the team practiced in full pads on Monday and Tuesday.
Josh Shaw could still put pads on simply to get used to them again, but the overall practice would still not be very physical. But because of the position he plays, Thomas doesn't think a lack of practices in pads will matter all that much for Shaw.
"It would matter more if Josh was a linebacker," Thomas said. "For a corner, it is not too hard. You are in man-thirds or cover two.
"How many corners tackle anyway? He will be rusty regardless. A lot will depend on his footwork and does he have his legs under him."
Shaw is a former safety who did enjoy taking on ball carriers. But at this point, we just don't know how much, if any, he will be able to help the team on Saturday against UCLA.
We will have all the latest news and notes on Josh Shaw as he returns to practice on Wednesday morning.
Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .