Another Thursday injury report, another round of surprises. Some of its good. Some of its not.
On Sunday, coach Randy Shannon was asked if guard Chris Barney could be back anytime soon to help a UM offensive line which has likely lost starting right tackle Reggie Youngblood for the season. Shannon told us "No. Not right now." Surprise! Barney, who went down with a leg injury during fall camp, is now listed as questionable for Saturday's game against UCF at Dolphin Stadium at 3:45 p.m.
That's good news for the Canes (if its true). UM had to move senior Chris Rutledge back outside from guard to tackle to help rotate with Tyrone Byrd on the right side last week and have an inexperienced Tyler Pipho as the other tackle reserve -- a player Jason Fox told me this week is improving. If Barney comes back, he can now rotate with Joel Figueroa, Orlando Franklin and AJ Trump on the inside.
Also new and good news -- defensive tackle Josh Holmes and freshman offensive lineman Ben Jones -- have been upgraded from out to doubtful, which tells us they may finally be getting healthy enough to return at some point this season.
That's the bulk of the good news, which also includes -- as we expected -- freshman receiver Thearon Collier being listed as questionable. Shannon told us earlier this week he was hoping Collier could play between 15-20 snaps in the slot.
But the rest of the news isn't as encouraging. Receiver Leonard Hankerson (leg) and running back Javarris James (leg) are listed as doubtful and freshman linebacker Jordan Futch (head), running back Damien Berry (leg) and freshman safety Vaughn Telemaque (arm) are out this week. In all, Miami will head into its game this week with the most injuries they've had all season and with five guys considered starters out -- James, Youngblood, Hankerson, linebacker Colin McCarthy and defensive end Eric Moncur.
> I spent a few minutes Tuesday talking with Jason Fox about the state of the team, especially now with so many leaders going down with injuries. Fox basically told me he's not worried because many of the leaders will still be around, coaching from the sidelines like Glenn Cook did last season. Look for our Brian Costa to have a story on the effect of the injuries in terms of leadership in Friday's paper.
> Last week, punter Matt Bosher took quite a whack when he ran for a first down on a fake punt. Bosher didn't duck out of bounds and heard about it from coaches afterward, who told him he needs to be a little smarter than that. Consider it a fearless factor for Bosher's part, who took plenty of whacks playing high school soccer and is unafraid to mix it up with bigger guys. We saw that with his two tackles at Florida.
Should Bosher go down, though, Miami would be in an awfully tough spot. Right now, Robert Marve is considered the only active backup punter with freshman quarterback Taylor Cook not dressing for games. Freshman Jake Wieclaw could potentially come in and kick field goals, but he still doesn't appear ready.