Following a second straight disastrous performance against a quality opponent, Rutgers must move on quickly, as the Scarlet Knights head to The Big House on Saturday. There, they will face a Michigan team that is exponentially better than the one that visited Rutgers last year. Today, Rutgers released the injury report and depth chart ahead of the Michigan game, giving us an idea of how the team will look for Saturday's big road game.
For the third straight week, the biggest name on the injury report is WR Leonte Carroo, who is once again questionable with a lower body injury. Carroo suffered the injury during the Indiana game, but was able to return for the Ohio State game. However, Carroo was unable to play in the second half of the loss to the Buckeyes. He was a game-time decision ahead of last Saturday's loss to Wisconsin, but obviously did not play.
It's possible Carroo would have been able to play at Wisconsin at less than 100%, but he and/or the coaching staff thought it better to sit him and let him get to full strength for the season's final four games. Either way, Carroo's status for the Michigan game is no clearer now than it was before, and Rutgers fans will hope the star receiver can give it a go on Saturday.
DT Eric Wiafe is also questionable with a lower body injury.
SS Davon Jacobs (upper body) is out once again, leaving Kiy Hester to start in his place. Jacobs has not played since sustaining his injury during the Indiana game.
Along with Jacobs, nine other players have already been ruled out - the same ones that are ruled out on seemingly every injury report: WR John Tsimis (lower body), RB Desmon Peoples (upper body), DT Darius Hamilton (lower body, out for season), TE George Behr (lower body), WR Dontae Owens (lower body), LB Nick Rafferty (upper body), LB Austin Rosa (lower body), RB Charles Snorweah (upper body) and LB T.J. Taylor (lower body).
On a positive note, WR Janarion Grant (lower body) is listed as probable. Grant was questionable ahead of the Wisconsin game, but ended up playing. Also probable are WLB Steve Longa (lower body), MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body), and LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body), who were all listed as probable on last week's injury report. All four should be good to go against Michigan.
CB Blessuan Austin, who was questionable for last week's game with an upper body injury, doesn't appear on this week's report. Austin came off the bench in last week's game and recorded a pick six, his first career interception.
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/Janarion Grant
LT: Keith Lumpkin/Zack Heeman
LG: Dorian Miller/Tariq Cole
C: Derrick Nelson/Chris Muller
RG: Chris Muller/Marcus Applefield
RT: J.J. Denman/Ryan Brodie
* Despite a brutal performance last Saturday, Laviano is still listed as the starter. Laviano completed just 4-of-14 passes for 31 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Rettig entered the game in the fourth quarter with Rutgers down 48-10, and completed 2-of-6 passes for 51 yards, no touchdowns and no picks. Flood said after the game that he appreciates the fans' interest in the QB situation, but he makes decisions based on who gives them the best chance to win. He is sticking with Laviano.
* Carroo and Agudosi are listed as co-starters, likely due to Carroo's questionable status. A true testament to how futile the offense was against Wisconsin: Despite only recording one catch, Agudosi was Rutgers' leading receiver on Saturday, going for 49 yards on his one reception.
* The running back committee continued against Wisconsin. On Saturday, Hicks was the featured back, tallying 72 yards on 15 carries. Martin was next, with nine carries for 21 yards. James rounded out the three-headed "monster" with six carries for 16 yards. Goodwin took his only carry of the day for six yards.
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: Anthony Cioffi/Saquan Hampton
SS: Kiy Hester/Andre Hunt OR Najee Clayton
CB: Blessuan Austin OR Jarius Adams
* Bateky is now listed as JPO's co-backup with Wiafe questionable for Saturday.
* Interesting to see Austin and Adams listed as co-starters at CB. Adams got the start last week, with Austin coming off the bench, likely because Austin was dealing with his upper body injury and playing at less than 100%. Now that Austin is supposedly fully healthy, it's somewhat surprising to learn Adams could start once 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
Could Carroo's presence give Rutgers a chance against Michigan? Does Laviano deserve to keep the starting job after his past two performances? Sound off in the comments below!