The injury bug that Oregon St. has done a better than average job of skirting so far this pre-season is starting to catchup with them. Head Coach Mike Riley and the Beavers' training staff had hoped that the left knee injury freshman offensive lineman Garrett Weinreich suffered in Monday evening's practice wouldn't be too bad, and had hoped he might be back in a couple of weeks.
That optimism proved to be unfounded once results from an MRI yesterday came back, revealing that Weinreich will require surgery, and will miss the entire season. Weinreich having to use his red-shirt this season thins out the reserves for the offensive line, and when you are 6'6" and 285 lbs., that's a big hole.
Today's day-time practice was under surprisingly tolerable conditions, given the forecast for hot weather. The next couple of days, both forecasted to top 100 degrees might not be so comfortable.
The offense appeared to have the advantage today, but that's in part due to the injuries to the secondary, where both safety Anthony Watkins, still rehabbing a hip flexor, and corner back Rashaad Reynolds, who had his right knee wrapped, were only able to spectate. Tyrequek Zimmerman and Sean Martin are getting the reps with the first string in the meantime.
Obum Gwacham is seeing a lot more balls thrown his way in practice than a week ago, and it appears that his size may make him the big-target option usually associated with the tight end position in recent seasons. At this point, no clear heir to the role that Joe "The Tank" Halahuni filled has emerged.
The injuries weren't confined to the defense, however, as running back Terron Ward retired to the training table before practice was over to get some attention for a sore leg.
Tomorrow will see some scrimmage action, though there has been some of that mixed in each day's drills, but this time the defense won't be so sure of what's coming.
It could be revealing, as while the execution in the passing game has been fairly sharp so far, at least by the first team, the offense hasn't faced a full diversity of defensive looks, and that was often the undoing of things last season.
In difference to the combination of the heat and the health of the team, Riley has announced that he will limit the starters to only around 25 plays, and a similar number for the next group.