Josh Kendall

South Carolina loses another key starter to injury, maybe for a while

Deebo Samuel’s injury was the biggest one of the weekend for South Carolina’s football team, but it wasn’t the only one.

Starting right tackle Zack Bailey will be out at least one week due to a high ankle sprain he suffered last week.

“He’s got a high ankle sprain so it may be a couple weeks,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “We put him in a cast to limit the swelling. He’ll get that off Thursday and I’ll know more then.”

Defensive end Dante Sawyer (hamstring) practiced Tuesday and will play Saturday.

Both players were injured in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 23-13 loss to Kentucky.

Bailey has made 21 starts for the Gamecocks, including all three this year after moving from guard to tackle in the offseason. Sawyer has started seven games in his career, including all three this year. He has 16 tackles this year, which is sixth on the team. He’s also one of four South Carolina defenders with at least one sack this year.

If Bailey can’t play, the Gamecocks expect to start Malik Young at right tackle and Dennis Daley at left tackle against La. Tech. Sophomore Keir Thomas and freshman Aaron Sterling will be looked at to take Sawyer’s starting spot, defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth said. Sophomore Shameik Blackshear “got more reps” in Tuesday’s practice, Stallworth said. Blackshear doesn’t have a tackle this season.