Wednesday morning’s practice session consisted of the scarlet team (mostly starters and veterans) and was the first practice in helmets and shoulder pads.
It also featured the first major injury of camp.
Starting cornerback Quinton Pointer, a sophomore from Florida, was carted off the field after colliding with a defensive teammate in a drill and falling awkwardly on his left arm.
Coach Mike Sanford called it a dislocated elbow and said he expects to know more on Pointer’s status later in the afternoon.
“He will miss some time,” Sanford added, however.
Pointer was taken to the emergency room for x-rays a short time after being taken to the locker room.
Replacing any starter is difficult, but one would think an injury early in camp would be less difficult to overcome as it gives the backups more of a chance to prepare. Cornerbacks coach Mike Bradeson wouldn’t concede that fact.
“You never want to have an injury. It’s football season and it happens, but there’s never a good time for an injury. That’s my opinion,” he said.
Regardless of how long Pointer ends up missing, one of the other corners is going to need to establish himself in that starting role.
Fortunately for the team, the Rebels are much deeper at corner than at safety.
“They’ve got to get ready. Step up and get rolling, that’s what you’ve got to do,” Bradeson added.
With the team still in shorts, but wearing shoulder pads and helmets, today’s brief 11-on-11 session was a bit closer to game conditions.
Sanford called it “full speed, no tackling.”
The first-team offense started with Frank Summers getting stuffed on a run up the middle. Omar Clayton dropped to pass on the next play, but was flushed out to the left for a sizable gain. Clayton got stuffed on a designed run up the middle. Then Summers ran down the right sideline for a big gain.
The second unit started with Channing Trotter gaining a few yards up the middle, then Mike Clausen keeping on an option to the right for very little.
The first unit returned and poorly executed a shotgun snap on the first play. Clayton then had the best play of the session with a long pass down the left sideline to Tate Knutson, who was single-covered by Lafayette Fletcher. The final play was a very well thrown ball by Clayton to Casey Flair on the left sideline. Clayton was sprinting out to the left and delivered the ball right on target on the run.
SLOW DAY ON THE BEAT?
Two ambulances, a fire truck and a campus police officer on a Segway were all on hand to casually wheel Pointer out of the team’s facility and on to the hospital.
The gray squad, featuring mostly newcomers and backups, will take the field at 6 p.m. this evening. It will be the last split practice before the full team takes the field together for the first time Thursday morning. Friday will be the first day in full pads.