Lincoln Riley updates status of several key USC players before Arizona game
Lincoln Riley is hopeful USC will have its injured stars available for Saturday’s game against Arizona, but he’s not certain if they’ll be available.
After going through the week limited in practice, the Trojan head coach couldn’t definitively say Thursday whether wideout Jordan Addison and linebacker Eric Gentry will be available to play on Saturday. Riley said the duo, along with linebacker Ralen Goforth, will all be game-time decisions that will go “down to the wire.”
Jordan Addison, Eric Gentry and Ralen Goforth have been limited this week, according to Lincoln Riley.
Riley said he wouldn’t rule anyone out yet, but it will come down to a game-time decision for all three.
— Keely Eure (@keelyismyname) October 27, 2022
All three players will travel with the team to Tucson.
Addison was knocked out of USC’s game against Utah on Oct. 15 late in the third with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury after a hit near the sideline. He was tended to by USC trainers and eventually walked around a bit under his own power on the sidelines, but was later spotted on crutches and without his pads.
Gentry was also forced out of the game early in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury as well.
On the offensive side, USC certainly has depth in the wideout room, but Addison is irreplaceable. The reigning Biletnikoff winner leads the Trojans this season in receptions (39), yards (585), and touchdowns (seven). The next-leading USC receiver has 26 receptions. No one else has more than 17.
Gentry leads all USC defenders in tackles this season with 52. Goforth is sixth on the team with 26 tackles.
Against Arizona this weekend, USC could be in for a shootout, which also makes the potential absence of Gentry a difference-maker. His presence in the middle of the field as a 6-foot-6 linebacker who can roam and disrupt passing lanes could be a key tool for defensive coordinator Alex Grinch in trying to stymy the Pac-12’s second-most pass-happy offense.
Arizona throws it 41 times a game for an average of 334 yards. A trio of talented receivers gives quarterback Jayden de Laura dangerous threats from anywhere on the field. Prior to the bye week, de Laura led all FBS quarterbacks in explosive pass plays (15-plus yards).
Elsewhere on the injury front, Riley also said that freshman cornerback Domani Jackson sat out practice this week and won’t be available for Saturday’s game. Jackson has played only sparingly this season.
Sophomore rush end Korey Foreman was also a bit touch-and-go during practice this past week with what Riley termed “nagging injuries,” but he’s expected to be available.
No. 10 USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12) and Arizona (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) kick off at 4 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network on Saturday.