South Carolina football was already plenty banged up heading into Saturday’s game against Akron.
Then the Gamecocks lost Zack Bailey, Shi Smith and Keir Thomas either before or during the game. Will Muschamp updated their statuses after the game.
▪ Bailey: Broke his fibula. A non-weight-bearing bone in his leg. He said it’s non-catastrophic. Bailey will miss the Gamecocks’ bowl game but Muschamp said Bailey will be fine long-term.
“It’s a non-weight bearing bone, so that is a good thing,” Muschamp said. “He’s going to be fine. It’s obviously a setback, but it’s not a catastrophic injury.”
▪ Smith: Had back spasms that hit him on Wednesday and prevented him from practice most of the week.
▪ Thomas: Has an ankle injury and will be back for the bowl game.
▪ Keisean Nixon: Had a shoulder injury flare up mid-game after making a tackle. Without him Jason Senn played in the secondary. He is expected to be fine.
Quarterback Jake Bentley reacted to the Bailey news after the game.
“I didn’t get to talk to him,” Bentley said. “The quarter had ended, so we kind of walked down the side, but just unfortunate. You hate to see his last game here end like that.
“He’s a pivotal player for us and has brought a lot of leadership and experience to this offensive line. Definitely going to miss him for sure.”
Bailey had his lower leg landed on while blocking on the final play of the third quarter. He was down for a few minutes, surrounded by trainers and eventually taken off on a cart.
He did hop up on his good leg before getting on the cart.
Bailey has been a stalwart for USC, starting games in each of the past four seasons. When healthy, he has been a starter the past three years, and is considered and NFL prospect.
Center Donell Stanley moved out to guard, with Chandler Ferrell going in at center.