Injury Update

Within hours of our post about Dante Blackmon, GoASU released a more detailed injury report with three players that stood out with injuries that needed “further evaluation”. Blackmon was on the list that included redshirt freshman defensive tackle Thomas Bronson and reserve offensive lineman Tucker Lee.

Bronson may be our biggest concern among all of the injuries. At a position where two redshirt freshman look to split time, an injury that could lead to prolonged time on the trainer’s table versus being on the practice field is worrisome. Dan Wylie was easily the best nose tackles that Appalachian has fielded in several years, possibly going back as far as Ryan Watson.

Tucker Lee may not be as well known to some, but he did his best impression of Arian Foster, running back of the Houston Texans, by using several social outlets to inform the masses of his hand injury. It appears Lee may have broken his finger, but also has his arm in a sling, so we cannot be completely sure what his injury is.

True Freshman Alex Gray and Tyson Fernandez will both be out another 4-6 weeks. Hopefully these guys are both potential redshirt targets barring any more injuries at their positions. The injuries that are listed “day-to-day” do not concern us at this point, as we still have three weeks before the first game at East Carolina.

Football: Injury Concerns

A few days ago, a couple of freshman players suffered injuries in fall camp and one of those injuries has really raised some eyebrows. Dante Blackmon was a highly touted recruit from Covington HS in Georgia. According to the media guide, Blackmon was slated to be a return specialist and there were reports of him pushing for an opportunity to start in the defensive backfield.

Blackmon is a versatile athlete who played on both sides of the ball in high school. It can be rare for a true freshman at Appalachian to play a significant number of snaps, especially at a position which requires coaching and experience to play at a high level. As mentioned, Blackmon was penciled in as a returner, not knowing whether that means punt returner or kick returner. Appalachian has not returned a kickoff for a touchdown since the days of CoCo Hillary in 2007 at Wofford. The last time the Mountaineers returned a punt for a touchdown was when Dexter Jackson returned two punts for touchdowns against Gardner Webb in 2006.