Indiana’s offensive line depth chart looks pretty shallow these days, and it isn’t expected to get any deeper this week.
Indiana coach Bill Lynch said at his weekly press conference Monday that senior right tackle James Brewer will probably out again this week with an ankle injury. Junior Josh Hager, who started Saturday’s game but suffered an injury on the game’s first possession, will also be out, and Lynch said he’s not entirely certain how long he could be out.
“I don’t have the report on Hager yet, as we speak,” Lynch said. “I would venture to say he’s probably not going to play this week, but I don’t have an updated injury report on him. We don’t expect Brewer to play this week, so as we stand here right now, (sophomore Marc) Damisch will be at tackle.”
Lynch said he still does expect to get Brewer back relatively soon, but he hinted that Hager could be a more long-term injury.
That means the Hoosiers will use an offensive line similar to the one they used last week with Junior Andrew McDonald at left tackle, redshirt freshman Aaron Price at left guard, sophomore Will Matte at center, junior Justin Pagan at right guard and Damisch at right tackle.
The second team looks as thin as ever, though. Redshirt freshman Colin Rodkey has not been listed on the two-deep much at all this year, but he’s now the backup at both left and right tackle. The same goes for redshirt freshman Pat McShane at both guard positions.
Lynch said he’s still confident in his depth, though.
“We addressed that in the spring and in the preseason,” Lynch said. “We really did. We practiced everybody. … They’re coached up that if they get called on, everybody in this room is counting on them. There aren’t any excuses about, well I’m young, or didn’t have experience. They have to be ready to play.”
Lynch said that his tailbacks will be back in action, however, with the exception of sophomore Darius Willis, who is out for the year. Senior Trea Burgess was hurt late in Saturday’s game after rushing for 102 yards. Redshirt freshman Nick Turner suffered an unknown injury during the game, and true freshman Antonio Banks did not play Saturday because he was ill.
“All four of them are returning for duty today,” Lynch said. “We got a good report on Trea. That’s the first one, because he got banged up in the game. Nick, we’ll kind of test him out a little bit today to see where he’s at. Antonio, hopefully he’s feeling better. He was sick a lot last week.”
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