With the once-deep Gamecock backfield once again looking depleted after injuries to Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson, Marcus Lattimore may need to be ready to carry the full load sooner than expected.
The internet learned that something was up with third-string RB Shon Carson at least 12 hours before the athletic department issued a press release letting us know that he'd been injured. The blurb on Carson in the press release, which also adressed the injury to Akeem Auguste, was awfully cryptic:
Carson, a 5-8, 192-pounder from Scranton, S.C., underwent a surgical procedure on his left wrist this morning to repair an injury suffered in practice on Friday. The procedure was performed by Dr. John Walsh at Palmetto Hospital.
Varying reports have Carson out from just a couple of weeks to the entire season, but based on the swelling in the photo that he posted to his Instagram account it's hard to imagine he'd be back in time for the Vanderbilt or East Carolina games, at minimum.
So where does this leave us?
Due to the location of the injury and the depth at the running back position, Carson's banged up wrist figures to have less of an immediate impact than Auguste's leg injury. Still, Carson's absence will be felt, if only at the periphery of the Gamecocks' gameplan for Vanderbilt. In conjunction with Brandon Wilds' sprained ankle, which has him looking doubtful for the season opener in Nashville, running backs coach Everette Sands now has fewer backs among whom to distribute the load - a load that many onlookers have hoped would be at least somewhat shifted off of the big shoulders of Marcus Lattimore. This suddenly leaves the Gamecocks with but two options to back up number 21: Kenny Miles and Mike Davis. From a talent standpoint, it would be far from a nightmare scenario if either of those two ended up getting some carries in this game, but Mike Davis is someone that the coaching staff is hoping to have the opportunity to redshirt this season.
A question that has been raised about Auguste, Lattimore, and now Carson is, "Are they injury-prone?" My feeling is that there is strong evidence that Akeem Auguste is injury prone and almost no evidence that Marcus Lattimore and Shon Carson are injury prone. What Marcus Lattimore's and Shon Carson's injury histories have in common is that they've gone down after sustaining traumatic blows to varied parts of their bodies. That, to me, doesn't make you injury prone. If I swing at your arm with a mallet, it's going to break - whether you're Rocco Baldelli or Magnus Ver Magnussen. Akeem Auguste's history is much more indicative of someone who meets my definition of being injury prone: someone whose body is just unable to stand up to the normal wear-and-tear of athletic competition.