I spoke with Robb Akey after the Vandals' practice this afternoon to get an update on injuries. I have some new information below, as well as my guess at the depth chart.
A slew of key players — particularly offensive linemen — did not practice again Wednesday. But the good news, as far as Akey is concerned, is that none of the injuries appear serious. Left tackle Matt Cleveland, left guard Sam Tupua and center Mike Marboe — all first-teamers — are mending sprain ankles. “I’m anticipating (that everyone will be able to play), and I’m knocking on wood at the same time. Sam, I would expect him to practice tomorrow. I’m expecting Cleveland back early next week. … And I’m anticipating Marboe for the first game too.”
Tailbacks Kama Bailey (sprained foot) and Ryan Bass (leg) sat out of practice as well, but both should be back for the Sept. 1 opener, Akey said. “I would expect to see Bass probably a little sooner than Kama, but both of them back before the first game is my anticipation.”
The same goes for wide receiver Justin Veltung (turf toe). “Veltung has shown great progress so I’m anticipating his availability for the first game,” Akey said.
DEPTH CHART STILL NOT IN FOCUS
Because of injuries and the factors, the depth chart isn't completely finalized. I didn't ask Akey to go into specifics, but here's my best guess — with the operative word being guess — at this point:
QB — first team: Brian Reader; second: Taylor Davis; third: Logan Bushnell
RB — Kama Bailey, Ryan Bass, Princeton McCarty, Troy Vital — take your pick with these four. They've been interchangeable so far. My bet would be on Bass and Bailey getting the most touches in Week 1, with Vital a key part of short-yardage/goal line situations.
FB — Henry Asuega
WR — first team: Justin Veltung, Armauni Johnson, Preston Davis; second/third teams: Mike Scott, Landon Weaver, Justin Hernandez, Maurice Trotter, Marcel Posey, Daniel Micheletti (possibly Robert Hatchett III and a couple others)
TE — first team: Taylor Elmo; second and third teams: Michael LaGrone/Derek Wieting/Clayton Homme
OL — first team: Matt Cleveland, LT; Sam Tupua, LG; Mike Marboe, C; Jordan Johnson, RG; Tyrone Novikoff, RT. Second and third teams: Some mixture of A.J. Jones, Bilal Liggins, Guy Reynolds, Spencer Beale (if healthy), Dallas Sandburg, Kyle Salm, Brady Lisoski and Ben Westrum
Update: Earlier I had Quinton Bradley listed under the LBs. That was an error on my part — he's listed as a DE on the roster, though he could line up as a linebacker in some formations.
DL — first team: Benson Mayowa, DE; Karel Kearney, DT; Michael Cosgrove, DT; Chuck Smith, DE. Second and third teams: Maxx Forde, DE; Vince Keener, DE; Andre Ferguson, DE; Jesse Davis, DT/DE; Quayshawne Buckley, DT; Ryan Edwards, DT; Dontae Scott, DT; Aaron Lazaro, DT; Quinton Bradley (if he doesn't redshirt)
LB — first team: Tre'Shawn Robinson, Conrad Scheidt, Homer Muaga (with Korey Toomer as key alternate/possible starter); second/third team: John McKinley, Brad Marboe, Jeffrey Bediako (if healthy), Tyler Brooks.
CB — first team: Aaron Grymes, Matthew Harvey; second team: Kenneth Patten, Tracy Carter, A.J. Annelus, Dion Bass (if he doesn't redshirt).
S — first team: Gary Walker, Quin Ashley; second team: Trey Williams, James Randall, Bradley Njoku (if he doesn't redshirt).
Any questions or comments? Contact me via Twitter (@SR_JoshWright) or leave them in the comments section.