by Barca Blog - Some of you have asked if defensive back Jamie Graham would be incorporated into the offense to provide a spark like he did a year ago.
Sure, it's not a bad idea considering the former receiver/tailback showcased his ability to make big plays with four touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. Head coach Bobby Johnson explained, though, that Graham couldn't be used in that fashion right now for two reasons: (1) too many injuries have hurt the team's depth on defense and (2) Graham suffered a concussion against Mississippi State, which could impact his status for the Rice game.
“Concussions have to be watched extremely carefully,” Johnson said, “and Jamie has to be symptom free for several days before he can practice. He’s not quite clear right now, but we think he will be.”
More Injury Updates from Johnson's Presser
*Defensive back Casey Hayward missed the second half against Mississippi State because of migraines, but is expected to play against Rice.
*Johnson seemed more optimistic about the health of tailback Jared Hawkins. Hawkins' status will depend on how his foot holds up during drills this week.
*Tailback Zac Stacy "should be alright" after hurting his ankle against the Bulldogs.
*Defensive end Steven Stone, who is recovering from a broken foot suffered in mid-August, is "jogging a little bit now" but not ready to return.
*Defensive back Eric Samuels, who missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury, is questionable. Samuels did go through warm-ups against MSU but wasn't cleared to play. He will be evaluated during practice this week.
*Johnson said he'd like to have Jay Fullam back at safety. If Fullam can fully recover in the near future, he may not be redshirted according to Johnson. The Chattanooga native has been sidelined since tearing a ligament in his hand during preseason camp.