Receiver Robert Woods has missed the last three days of practice because of a long-standing ankle injury that's recently flared up, and Trojans coach Lane Kiffin does not expect the talented sophomore to suit up for Sunday's scrimmage at the Coliseum.
Woods originally sprained the ankle back in April, the day before the spring game, while playing pick-up basketball. In the months since, he has often worked out and practiced on his own and in a team setting but never felt 100 percent. It seemed as if his condition was improving when he produced his best fall-camp performance during Wednesday's evening practice, but, the next afternoon, Woods sat out of practice and hasn't returned since.
“I doubt it," Kiffin said when asked if Woods could play Sunday. "We’ll move him around in the morning, but I wouldn’t think he would."
One positive about his absence: Instead of worrying about giving him enough reps with all the other receivers fighting for the No. 2 job, Kiffin and his staff have another open spot in which they can audition players during the scrimmage. And a number of guys really are fighting for time at receiver, from senior Brandon Carswell to junior Brice Butler to sophomore De'Von Flournoy to freshmen Kyle Prater, George Farmer and Marqise Lee. “
"Sometimes there is a good side to injuries, as far as opening things up for other people,” Kiffin said Saturday. “And we wouldn’t have played Robert all that much anyway.
"It does give more reps to the guys we’re trying to figure out."
As of right now, Carswell sits in the lead in front of the other primary candidates, Kiffin said. Butler and Prater are also believed to be potential No. 2 receivers across from Woods.