Grothe injury could test USF's QB depth
USF quarterback Matt Grothe was held out of practice with a hip injury Tuesday, and while coach Jim Leavitt characterized the sophomore as being “day to day,” his uncertain status opens the possibility that the Bulls will open their season with a starting quarterback who’s never thrown a college pass.
Leavitt identified Grothe’s injury as a hip pointer, which is a bruise on the pelvic bone, something normally treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medicine. If Grothe can’t recover in time for USF’s Sept. 1 opener against Division I-AA Elon, the Bulls would turn to junior Grant Gregory, who has been at USF two seasons but hasn’t thrown a pass in a game since 2003.
“We will work with Matt and be cautious,” Leavitt said in a statement released by USF’s sports information department.
Gregory redshirted his only season at Indiana, then sat out the 2005 season after transferring to USF when his father, current offensive coordinator Greg Gregory, joined the Bulls staff. He played in two games last season but did not throw a pass. Third-stringer Anthony Severino, a fifth-year former walk-on, has also played sparingly but has never thrown a pass.
The recovery time for a hip pointer varies with the severity of the bruise, but Dr. William Carson, who spent 11 years as the Bucs’ team orthopedic surgeon, said dealing with pain is the primary issue with returning early, not the threat of greater injury.
“With an average hip pointer, you would see three to five days of rest from running and contact," Carson said. "It's a negotiable injury to play with, a safe thing, because you’re not going to damage the hip by playing on it.”
Grothe earned Big East Rookie of the Year honors and was named USF’s Offensive MVP after passing for 2,576 yards and rushing for a team-high 622 yards. He spent much of the spring recovering from a hairline fracture he suffered to his leg during USF’s bowl victory against East Carolina in December.
HESS UPDATE: Walk-on linebacker Houston Hess, the team’s leading special-teams tackler last season, had minor arthroscopic surgery on his knee Tuesday to correct a slight tear in his meniscus, his mother said. Hess is expected to return to full health in time for USF’s season opener, she said.