USC cornerback Shareece Wright will miss Thursday's matchup against Oregon State and is expected to be out for several weeks after team doctors found that Wright had suffered a hairline fracture in one of his vertebrae.
"Shareece got a report today that he has a hairline fracture in one of his vertebrae," Pete Carroll said following Monday's practice. "It's a crack that takes a while to heal."
Wright had been limited in practice last week with what was described as a stiff neck but team doctors became concerned when the stiffness didn't subside.
"We are all surprised that it's that serious because he had a stiff neck," Carroll said. "He's not that uncomfortable at all, but obviously it's serious because you have a broken bone.
"Unfortunately for Shareece, this will be a long recovery for him."
Carroll didn't give an official timetable but said Wright could be out for six weeks.
Wright has played a major role in the Trojans first two games this season and his absence will be felt on special teams as well as at cornerback.
Ronald Johnson will replace Wright as the gunner on the punt team and Josh Pinkard will step in as the starter at cornerback, where the Trojans will have a three-man rotation consisting of Cary Harris, Josh Pinkard and Kevin Thomas with T.J. Bryant possibly seeing some action.
"Josh (Pinkard) will step up and take this start but we will continue to rotate our guys as we have," Carroll said. "Kevin Thomas will play throughout the game and T.J. Bryant will step up as the fourth corner and we will go from there."
Josh Pinkard, who is no stranger to injuries himself, is a very capable replacement for the injured Wright.
"He's been playing in both games regularly in the rotation, so he's ready to go," Carroll said of Pinkard, who missed the majority of the last two seasons with knee injuries.
After spending the start of the season as the service team quarterback, Garrett Green has worked with the second-team offense the last two days and Pete Carroll revealed today that Green would be the first quarterback to see action if anything happened to Mark Sanchez.
"Right now, if we are going into the game then Garrett (Green) is going in first," Carroll said when asked about the backup quarterback situation. "That's because of his command of the offense as much as anything.
"At this point, he is more in command."
Green has been a steady presence running the offense in practice and has benefited from being in the offensive system for longer than both Corp and Mustain.
Coach Carroll stressed that this isn't a long term decision but felt it was the right decision at this time.
"We are going to leave the competition open throughout the next few weeks," Carroll added.
Notes from the Field
Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Michael Balzary, also known as Flea, was roaming the sidlines of Howard Jones Field on Monday. Flea is currently taking classes at USC's Thornton School of Music.
Freshman safety Drew McAllister intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass in the end zone keeping the offense from putting up seven points during 7-on-7.
Sanchez answered by connecting with Blake Ayles for a touchdown a few plays later. Ayles made a leaping grab in traffic to pull in the pass.
Garrett Green also connected with Stanley Havili for a touchdown during 7-on-7.
Kevin Ellison intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass on the sideline and returned it for a touchdown during 11-on-11.
Stanley Havili and Vidal Hazelton both caught touchdown passes during 11-on-11.
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