South Carolina will likely not have its second-leading rusher for Saturday’s game against Tennessee because of a knee sprain, Will Muschamp told reporters on Tuesday.
Rico Dowdle, who led the Gamecocks in rushing entering this past Saturday’s game against Florida, injured the knee on the first play of the game against the Gators.
“He is moving around a little bit. I don’t know if he’ll be available this weekend,” the coach said. “But he is moving around. There’s no surgery required. I don’t know a timetable, but my guess would be probably not for this weekend.”
South Carolina will now feature a running back rotation of Tavien Feaster, the team’s new leading rusher who ran for 175 yards and a touchdown against Florida, Mon Denson, who added 58 yards and a touchdown, and Deshaun Fenwick, who has only played in one game this season (North Carolina).
A.J. Turner, who has played both running back and defensive back during his career, was moved strictly to running back two weeks ago but was inactive Saturday because of a hamstring injury.
“A.J. Turner has a little bit of a hamstring and I’ll know more probably Wednesday on his status for the game,” Muschamp said.
Dowdle injured an ankle earlier this season during South Carolina’s game against Kentucky but had not missed any games this season. The running back, of course, has a history with injuries.
In 2016 he sat out the first four games of the season with a sports hernia. In 2017 a broken leg cost him the last five games of the regular season. In 2018 he missed time with ankle and groin injuries, which also caused him to miss this entire spring.
“There’s no question, he’s been through a lot,” Muschamp said. “He’s had more legitimate injuries than you’d like to have a young man have. [We’re] very relieved he’s not going to have to have surgery and hopefully we’ll get him back sooner [rather] than later.”