Oregon State is set to kickoff the 2016 season at Minnesota in less than two weeks. Just about a week ago, their top returning rusher, Shannon Brooks suffered a foot injury in fall camp. Details were slow to emerge but it was announced that he would need 3-5 weeks to recover.
Tracy Claeys confirmed #Gophers RB Shannon Brooks had broken bone in foot, screw inserted. Timetable, as reported, is 3-5 weeks.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) August 13, 2016
If he came back in just three weeks, he could be cleared to play for the season-opener vs. Oregon State, but that seems unlikely. Shannon Brooks had a stellar 2015 season playing as a true freshman, but he relies on quick cuts and his speed. Foot injuries can be tricky and one would assume that the coaching staff would be extra careful with their young, speedy running back.
The good news for Minnesota is that their backup running back, sophomore Rodney Smith was essentially seen as a co-starter rather than a backup. Brooks and Smith were expected to provide a one-two punch, but now Rodney Smith will get the lions share of the carries for the Gophers. It will also provide junior college transfer Kobe McCrary an opportunity to step-up and vill the void. Be sure to check out The Daily Gopher for an in-depth outlook on the Brooks injury.
Injuries are never fun and Minnesota experienced more than their fair share of injuries last season. The general consensus among Gopher fans is that Minnesota should win their non-conference games and then welcome Shannon Brooks back just in time for the start of their Big Ten schedule. Hopefully, Oregon State can catch the Gophers sleeping and steal a road game against a formidable opponent.