The Richmond Register

Sports

August 22, 2013

EKU FOOTBALL: Injuries slowing down offense

RICHMOND — With just a week until the season opener, the Colonels are dealing with some fairly significant injury concerns, especially on offense.

When the team scrimmaged Saturday morning at Roy Kidd Stadium, they were without two of their best receivers, a starting tight end and a key running back, along with several other players.

The defense dominated the intra-squad event, shutting out the offense in the first half before allowing just two second-half scores.

“I think there’s no question that that made it more difficult to move the ball,” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “The defense is usually ahead (at this part of camp) and they had more (of their starters).”

None of the injuries to the front-line offensive players is considered extremely serious or season-ending at this point.

Senior tight end Matt Lengel is the biggest concern right now.

After missing almost all of last season, Lengel suffered another knee injury in the team’s first scrimmage of camp two weeks ago.

“It’s the same knee. Just a different deal,” Hood said of Lengel. “Last time it was an ACL. This time its an MCL, but its just a strain. That’s a big difference. We just want to wait until he’s fully recovered and that will probably be sometime this week.”

Lengel’s status for next Thursday’s season-opener against Robert Morris at Roy Kidd Stadium is still uncertain.

Redshirt freshman running back J.J. Jude sustained a shoulder separation last week and did not play in Saturday’s scrimmage.

He should be ready to return to practice full-time later this week.

“He went through some live group work with some hitting (Tuesday),” Hood said of Jude. “He will probably be available for the scrimmage, but we will probably put him on the shelf for one more day.”

Sophomore receivers Jeff Glover and Jaucady Rutledge were also held out of Saturday’s scrimmage.

Glover has practiced all week, but Rutledge has an MCL strain and may not be ready for the opener.

“Glover is good,” Hood said. “He’s practiced all week. Jaucady probably needs another week to 10 days.”

Tight end Nathan Watts saw limited action in the scrimmage because of a lingering foot problem and fullback Jeremy James continues to make progress as he tries to recovery from an injury.

Senior defensive lineman Shawn Shupperd also sat out Saturday because of a shoulder problem. He has practiced the past couple of days and should be ready for the opener.

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