South Carolina Football: The latest on a very-injured Gamecock squad

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football always seems to deal with an inordinate amount of banged-up players, but 2023 has been particularly bad. Two positions have been hit harder than the rest as the Gamecock offensive line unit and wide receiver group have been decimated with injuries.

Interior offensive linemen Markee Anderson and Ryan Brubaker were expected to be part of the two-deep but are out for the season. Starting left tackle Jaylen Nichols is out for the year, as well, and starting right tackle Cason Henry has missed every snap of the season except the first four. Part-time starter Jakai Moore has missed multiple games with a shoulder ailment, too.

Reserve linemen JonDarius Morgan and Jaxon Hughes have missed multiple games, and Ni Mansell is out for the year. The sheer number of offensive line injuries has made practice so difficult that backup tight ends have had to help out as make-shift linemen.

Star wide receiver Juice Wells tried playing in the first three games of the year but didn’t feel right and couldn’t finish any of the contests. He has missed the rest of the year up to this point. Fellow starter Ahmarean Brown has missed more time than he’s been healthy, Nyck Harbor missed a chunk of time this offseason (getting him a late start to getting ready for the year), and Eddie Lewis and Kelton Henderson have been banged up some, as well.

Now, those position groups are facing even more adversity. Heading into this weekend’s game against Texas A&M, head coach Shane Beamer updated the injury situation. Beamer spoke about his injury-riddled South Carolina football team during Sunday’s teleconference, again during his Tuesday media availability, and one final time during Carolina Calls on Thursday evening.

Starting center-turned-right-tackle Vershon Lee missed the second half of the Florida game and all of the Missouri contest with a knee issue. He will also be out against Texas A&M on Saturday. Starting right guard Tro Baugh and starting left tackle Tree Babalade are also both questionable for this weekend. Cason Henry and Jaxon Hughes are questionable to return from their multi-game absences.

Juice Wells is out again this week, and Ahmarean Brown will miss the game, as well. Xavier Legette, who has dealt with a couple of minor issues of his own this year, was knocked out of last Saturday’s game in Missouri and was called questionable by Shane Beamer for the Texas A&M contest. Tight ends Trey Knox and Josh Simon (who both line up at receiver at times) have both played with minor injuries all season.

The shorthanded South Carolina football team will travel to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies at 12:00 on Saturday on the SECNetwork and ESPN app.

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