After yet another embarrassing defeat, Rutgers looks to rebound on Saturday in a road matchup against Army at West Point. It might be hard to believe, but even at 3-7, Rutgers is still playing for something here. Last week, I wrote about how a bowl berth at 5-7 is very possible for Rutgers. Today, the Scarlet Knights released the weekly injury report and depth chart, giving us an idea of what the team will look like when they try to stay alive in the hunt for their tenth bowl appearance in 11 years.
This one is a doozy.
After last week's game, the first player fans will be looking for is probably C Derrick Nelson. The redshirt junior suffered a scary injury late in last Saturday's game, when he collided helmets with a Nebraska player and was down on the field for several minutes and had to be stretchered off. After witnessing that sobering scene, it's a huge relief to hear he left the hospital and looks to be okay.
Just saw Derrick Nelson walking out of Hale Center. He looked good. Said he appreciated the well wishes. #RFootball— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) November 16, 2015
Nelson is questionable for Saturday's game with an upper body injury.
The rest of the Rutgers' offensive line is banged up, too. Starting LG Dorian Miller and his back-up Tariq Cole are both questionable with upper body injuries. LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body) and RG Chris Muller (lower body) also appear on the injury report, but both are probable and should be good to go.
Rutgers may be without both of its starting safeties against Army. SS Davon Jacobs (upper body) has already been ruled out, and will miss his fifth straight game. Meanwhile, FS Anthony Cioffi is questionable with an upper body injury. Cioffi recorded an interception against Nebraska, and didn't seem to be dealing with an injury, so his inclusion is surprising.
Another unexpected name comes in the form of WR Andre Patton, who is questionable with an upper body injury. He played last Saturday, and it's not clear when his injury occurred.
There is some good news, though. After making his long-awaited return against Nebraska, WR Leonte Carroo (lower body) is probable for the Army game after being listed as questionable every week since his injury. Also, RB Paul James (lower body) is nearing a return. James has been available in emergency situations in the last two games, but did not appear in either. It looks like he'll see the field on Saturday.
Along with Jacobs, the following players have been ruled out against Army: TE George Behr (lower body), DT Darius Hamilton (lower body, out for season), RB Desmon Peoples (upper body), LB Nick Rafferty (upper body), DT Kenneth Roman (upper body), LB Austin Rosa (lower body), RB Charles Snorweah (upper body), LB T.J. Taylor (lower body) and WR John Tsimis (lower body).
Along with Nelson, Miller, Cole, Cioffi and Patton, LB Trevor Morris (upper body) and DT Eric Wiafe (lower body) are questionable.
Joining Lumpkin, Muller, Carroo and James with probable designations are WR Janarion Grant (lower body), MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body), and WLB Steve Longa (lower body).
QB: Chris Laviano/Hayden Rettig
RB: Paul James OR Josh Hicks OR Justin Goodwin OR Robert Martin
FB: Sam Bergen/Anthony Folkerts
TE: Nick Arcidiacono/Matt Flanagan OR Charles Scarff
WR: Leonte Carroo OR Carlton Agudosi
WR: Andre Patton OR Janarion Grant
LT: Keith Lumpkin/Zack Heeman/Ryan Brodie
LG: Dorian Miller OR Tariq Cole OR Zach Heeman
C: Derrick Nelson OR Chris Muller OR Marcus Applefield
RG: Chris Muller OR Marcus Applefield OR Jacquis Webb
RT: J.J. Denman/Ryan Brodie OR Jacquis Webb
* Flood continues to stick with Laviano, despite his continued struggles. Fun fact: Janarion Grant managed to get a pass attempt (Rettig didn't) and throw a touchdown (Laviano didn't) on Saturday. So, there's that.
* A little surprising that Carroo is still listed as a co-starter with Agudosi despite his probable status, but either way expect Carroo to start on Saturday.
* Grant is now listed as Patton's co-starter in case the latter can't give it a go against Army.
* With so many injury question marks on the o-line, Ryan Brodie and Jacquis Webb both popped up on the depth chart, and could see the field if injuries continue to be an issue against Army.
* Lumpkin and Denman will bookend the offensive line, but that's about all we know for sure right now. Muller will play, but will likely slide over to center if Nelson isn't ready to return. In that case, Applefield would probably get the start at right guard. Left guard is a huge question mark with Miller and Cole both questionable.
DE: Quanzell Lambert/Kemoko Turay
NT: Sebastian Joseph/Kevin Wilkins
DT: Julian Pinnix-Odrick/Eric Wiafe OR Jon Bateky
DE: Djwany Mera/Jimmy Hogan
WLB: Steve Longa/Deonte Roberts
MLB: Kaiwan Lewis/Isaiah Johnson
SLB: Quentin Gause/Eric Margolis OR Kevin Marquez
CB: Isaiah Wharton/Ronnie James
FS: Saquan Hampton OR Anthony Cioffi
SS: Kiy Hester/Andre Hunt OR Najee Clayton
CB: Blessuan Austin/Jarius Adams
* With Cioffi questionable, Hampton has been promoted to co-starter at FS, and will start if Cioffi can't play against Army.
* It seems Austin is fully clear of his upper body injury, and is set to start at CB again on Saturday.
K: Kyle Federico/Chris Gough
P: Joey Roth/Michael Cintron
LS: Alan Lucy/Alex Hutchings
H: Joey Roth/Brian Verbitski
KR/PR: Janarion Grant/Andre Patton
Will Rutgers be able to overcome the injuries on the offensive line? Should Flood continue to start Laviano? Is a fully healthy Carroo enough to beat Army? Sound off in the comments below!