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Injury Report: Hamilton Still Out, Hester Upgraded

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The weekly injury report was released today, and as Rutgers fans have been accustomed to over the past week or so, there's some good news, and there's some bad news.

We'll start with the ice cream. Safety Kiy Hester (lower body) is listed as questionable after sitting out last Saturday's win over Norfolk State. He was declared out on Tuesday of last week, so today's questionable listing is definitely an upgrade. Davon Jacobs is listed as the starter at strong safety, but Hester could push him for snaps if he plays (and plays well) on Saturday.

Now here come the vegetables. Defensive tackle Darius Hamilton (lower body) remains out. Kyle Flood said last week he expects Hamilton to play this season, but he is week-to-week for now. Hamilton's potential return date remains a mystery, but it won't be against the Cougars on Saturday.

Perhaps even more concerning is the appearance of defensive end Djwany Mera (questionable, lower body) on the injury report. Mera has started 27 straight games for the Scarlet Knights, and not having him and Hamilton against Washington State would be a huge detriment to Rutgers' pass rush.

Running back Desmon Peoples (upper body) is out once again. Rutgers obviously has enough depth at running back that Peoples' absence doesn't sting too much. But, and I admit this is me speculating, I wonder if Flood would consider moving Justin Goodwin back to corner if Peoples were healthy. Given the issues in the defensive backfield, Goodwin would certainly be valuable depth for a position group that lacks it.

Nothing to panic about, but it is worth noting running back Paul James appeared on the injury report. He is listed as probable with a lower body injury. Obviously the issue is minor, but since any injury to his troublesome knee would classify as a "lower body injury", it's something to keep an eye on.

Also listed as probable are defensive back Ronnie James (lower body) and defensive end Kemoko Turay (upper body). Both should be ready to roll on Saturday.

Hester and Mera are the only players listed as questionable.

Wide receiver John Tsimis (lower body) and defensive back Brian Verbitski (lower body) are considered doubtful.

In addition to Hamilton and Peoples, the following players are out for Saturday's game: defensive back Talib Abdur-Ra'oof (lower body), tight end George Behr (lower body), punter Tim Gleeson (lower body), wide receiver Jawuan Harris (lower body), wide receiver Dontae Owens (lower body), linebacker Nick Rafferty (upper body), linebacker Austin Rosa (lower body), running back Charles Snorweah (upper body), linebacker T.J. Taylor (lower body), and offensive lineman Jacquis Webb (lower body).