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Injuries Have Bison Playing Waiting Game
The good news for Bucknell is after five nonconference games, the Bison should have any kinks worked out heading into their Patriot League opener Saturday at Georgetown.
The bad news, well, right now nobody is sure just how bad it is.
Two of Bucknell’s top players, one on offense and one on defense, will likely sit out practice most of this week. Whether they play or not Saturday is most definitely up in the air.
Bison coach Tim Landis said Tuesday if juniors Marcello Trigg and Sam Nana-Sinkam have the final say, they will be on the field in D.C. on Saturday afternoon. Landis is sort of fence-sitting and with Nana-Sinkam, the coach most certainly should be.
Nana-Sinkam, Bucknell’s top tackler and ranked in the top 10 nationally, is dealing with a concussion suffered in Saturday’s super physical game against Hofstra. Facing a much bigger team, Nana-Sinkam was in on 15 stops for BU, including 10 in the first half.
It’s easy to see why Nana-Sinkam wants on the field. He already missed all of the 2007 season after injuring his shoulders. In the Patriot League, athletes are not redshirted just for the sake of redshirting, so he likely only has the remainder of this season and his senior season next fall to play football.
Nana-Sinkam would be a legitimate candidate for a fifth year, which is occasionally granted for medical reasons in the Patriot. To do so, however, the student-athlete would have to continue working toward a degree in that fifth year rather than take some bogus classes that most football factories feature (and that Bucknell certainly does not have).
But concussions aren’t to be messed with. Just ask Troy Aikman or Eric Lindros, two star athletes whose careers were cut short by concussions.
Then there’s Trigg, the third-most efficient passer in all of the Football Championship Subdivision. On two separate occasions he left the field against Hofstra, and both times his right ankle was taped tightly and heavily.
After the injury in the first half, Trigg came back and took over the offense. The second time, Landis stuck with senior Andrew Lair, who turned in one of the best performances of his career. When Lair was injured Trigg re-entered the game, only to be replaced later by Lair on the same drive.
Trigg has what Landis called a “high ankle sprain.” And for anybody who’s been around football, initial thoughts following “high ankle sprain” typically involve the word lingering.
A high ankle sprain runs along the same lines as a pulled hamstring. A player might feel fine and then one wrong move and it’s a setback that could cost a player a month or more.
The right ankle he injured is his plant foot, which is a concern on a number of levels. First off, the Bison are throwing the ball more under first-year offensive coordinator Harold Nichols than they have in a long time. Secondly, Bucknell remains an option-based offense and Trigg still needs to be fairly mobile to be at the top of his game.
Whether the ankle allows him to is the issue.
Landis said he wouldn’t bet against either of them suiting up Saturday. I wouldn’t either, but you hope for their sake they make the right decisions.
Will the Bison be better with Trigg and Nana-Sinkam on the field? Sure.
Can they win without either of them? Sure.
Injuries have Bison playing waiting game
By William Bowman, The Sunbury Daily Item (PA)