Arizona State knew that it would be without Gerald Munns for this week’s game against Nevada-Las Vegas, but a pair of unexpected departures on Tuesday have left the linebacking corps a little thin.
Munns underwent successful surgery to place three pins in his fractured left pinkie finger and is expected to return for the Georgia game on Sept. 20. The news is not as clear for reserves Brandon Magee, who injured a pectoral muscle while lifting weights on Tuesday, and Chad Lindsey, who has “personal issues to take care of,” coach Dennis Erickson said.
Magee underwent an MRI exam and will see a physician today to learn the severity of the injury. Erickson said that he does not think surgery is necessary.
“We’ve had to shuffle around some guys, so others need to step up,” said Mike Nixon, who will start in Munns’ place at middle linebacker on Saturday. “Hopefully, after this week, we’ll get some of our depth back, but some of the younger guys are going to get some plays.”
If Magee and Lindsey are unavailable, Erickson said, Shelly Lyons will back up Nixon in the middle, Travis Goethel and Jeff Bereuter would be the top two on the depth chart at strong-side linebacker, with Ryan McFoy and Oliver Aaron on the weak side. Redshirt freshmen Derrall Anderson and Colin Parker will also get looks.
Morris Wooten remains under suspension for an undisclosed team rules violation and will not return until the Georgia game.
The injury is a downer for Magee, a true freshman who earned the right to play this season with an impressive training camp.
“It happens,” Magee said. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Running back Keegan Herring (hamstring) and tight end Andrew Pettes (groin) did not take part in drills on Tuesday and are day to day.
“We probably won’t know on those guys until Thursday,” Erickson said.
Offensive lineman Matt Hustad (knee) is performing more work in practice and is expected to return to full participation next week.
No cause has been determined for the damage that sent the roof of ASU’s “bubble” indoor practice structure to the ground during a storm on Aug. 28.
Parts of the fabric roof, which was supported by air pressure, are severely torn. However, the roof will be re-inflated when assessors attempt to find the cause.
Although usable, the structure was unfinished. ASU will likely not be financially liable for damages since it had yet to take possession of the facility from the construction company.
There is no timetable for a reopening.