Bulls DT Grissom out with broken bone in ankle
USF football suffered a significant injury in Monday morning's practice, as senior defensive tackle Cory Grissom -- the only player at his position with extensive starting experience -- suffered a fractured fibula in his right ankle in a non-contact drill and had to be carted off the field. USF did not indicate a timetable for his return, but he'll undergo surgery Thursday, and it's reasonable to think he'll miss at least some of the 2012 season recovering from the injury.
The Bulls were practicing in shorts Monday morning when Grissom, reaching for a loose ball in a fumble drill, went down in the end zone of USF's practice fields, where trainers attended to him for several minutes before he left for X-rays and an MRI. If Grissom isn't healthy enough to return and play in 2012, he would be eligible for a sixth year in 2013, having taken a medical redshirt in his first year at USF in 2008.
Grissom, from LaGrange, Ga. and affectionately known as "Pork Chop," has been a key part of USF's run defense in both of Skip Holtz's seasons at USF, starting all 25 games. He set career highs last season with 38 total tackles and six tackles for losses. He played in one game in 2008 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, resulting in his medical redshirt.
All fractures are unique, but Grissom's injury is similar to what receiver Sterling Griffin suffered in the summer of 2010, and while Griffin took a medical redshirt in the ensuing season, his injury took place in late June, about two and a half months after Grissom's.
It's the second injury to USF's defensive line in less than a week, as backup defensive end Anthony Hill tore his ACL in practice Wednesday and will require surgery, costing him at least the start of the upcoming season. The Bulls have had junior Luke Sager working as a starter alongside Grissom, with sophomores Elkino Watson and Todd Chandler as the top backups at the position.
USF did have encouraging news on the injury front Monday, as two starters who had been held out last week, guard Danous Estenor and safety JaQuez Jenkins, were back participating at practice, albeit for non-contact work.