Injuries are part of the game, coaches will tell you. That doesn't make them any less of a drag.
And no team is dragging more with injuries than Arizona State, which lost senior linebacker Brandon Magee for the season Saturday due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Magee is not only a returning starter, there's also this from the Arizona Republic:
Defensive coordinator Craig Bray recently told The Republic that Magee was the team's best defensive player last season.
Over the past week, Magee had seemed to take a greater leadership role on the field, barking at the first-team defense to get to the ball and to work through fatigue.
Magee also is one of the "Centennial Threesome" with fellow LBs Vontaze Burfict and Shelly Lyons. He and Lyons keep pretty busy helping the volatile Burfict maintain an even keel.
Perhaps no team in the county expected to contend for a national ranking has suffered as much roster attrition as the Sun Devils since the end of 2010. QB Steven Threet (retired due to recurrent concussions), QB Samson Szakacsy (left team), DT Lawrence Guy (entered NFL draft), CB Omar Bolden (knee), WR T.J. Simpson (knee), DE James Brooks (left team) and RB Deantre Lewis (gunshot wound). And since the beginning of camp, linebacker Oliver Aaron suffered a high-ankle sprain, backup defensive tackle Joita Te'i suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for seven weeks and cornerback Devan Spann dislocated his left shoulder two times in the first week of practice.
And now Magee.
Despite all this, the Sun Devils still have the makings of a good team. Just not as good of a team as they had when they walked off the field Dec. 2 after beating rival Arizona.