The mystery surrounding Jeff Byers' illness, which has limited the offensive lineman for nearly a month, has finally been solved. Byers addressed the media after Wednesday's morning practice, and revealed that after undergoing extensive testing, he had been diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Byers believes the virus was transmitted when he returned home for his sister's wedding and was bitten by a tick.
"I got a tick bite and it got infected," Byers said of the illness.
Both Byers and USC Head Coach Pete Carroll expressed relief in finally knowing what had caused the lengthy illness.
"I think it's great news that they know what he's got," Coach Carroll said after practice. "There was a long search to figure it out and now they at least they have something to direct the treatments."
"It's nice to be treated. I have been sitting here waiting to be treated for a while now," Byers added. "Now they are finally like ‘take these antibiotics, its not going to come back. "It's nice to know and have some closure on the deal."
Byers was able to go through drills during the morning practice on Wednesday but will be limited until his enlarged spleen returns to it's normal size.
"It all depends on when the spleen goes down," said Byers. "They are letting me do more stuff today, they are going to let me do more stuff tomorrow and keep progressively letting me do more things."
Along with the good news about Jeff Byers, the Trojans also had several players return to the practice field this morning. Jordan Cameron, Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews, Blake Ayles and Ronald Johnson all returned from having various injuries.
Freshman wide receiver Brice Butler wasn't wearing a boot today and went through some non-contact drills as well.
After his impressive performance in the first scrimmage on Tuesday, linebacker Jordan Campbell was held out practice this morning with groin issues.
Greg Woidneck looked particularly good today booming punts.
Aaron Corp responded with a short touchdown pass to Damian Williams on the next series.
Safety Will Harris ended the day on a high-note for the defense intercepting Aaron Corp and returned the pick for a touchdown.
The Trojans will be back out at Howard Jones Field in full pads at 4 p.m. for the second practice of the day.
Stay tuned to the Premium Message Board for regular updates throughout fall camp.