O-Line injuries offer reps to depth players

Posted Aug 6, 2011

Jeff Backus began the year on PUP with a pectoral injury. Gosder Cherilus has been held out of practice with a knee injury. The coaches had him start with individual drills on Saturday, but it was too soon.

"He’s tight up in his hips and he was unable to do it," said Head Coach Jim Schwartz. "We have an off day tomorrow, (trying to) get him moving a little bit today. Hopefully get him back on Monday full speed.”

Now added to that list is second-year tackle Jason Fox, who suffered a foot injury and left practice early.

“He got his foot, mid-foot," said Schwartz. "We’re doing tests now and we’ll see."

With Backus and Cherlius not practicing, Fox had been taking a significant number of reps and performing well.

Now rookie Johnny Culbreath, among others, will have the opportunity for an even greater practice role, which is a plus for the seventh-round draft choice out of South Carolina State.

"All our rookies are in a very difficult position," said Schwartz. "They had no off-season - no exposure to anything that we do until last Thursday night.

"He was a player that needed a lot of development to start with. What happens when you get some numbers down, someone’s going to take advantage of that. It might be him, it might be Tony Ugoh, it might be Corey Hilliard."

Schwartz says any of those players could be the one to step up.

"They need to take advantage of every single rep they get," he said. "We don’t have time to worry about where they were in the off-season or how much time they’ve had so far. They’ve got to take advantage of what’s happening right now."