The Arizona Wildcats’ injury problems started during their spring game. That’s when safety Adam Hall tore his ACL for the second time in a year.
The bad news kept coming for Rich Rodriguez in the summer and fall camp.
Four players never made it to the start of the season, including sophomore linebacker Rob Hankins, who had to give up football because of a concussion. Senior Greg Nwoko, who moved from running back to linebacker in camp, suffered a career-ending hip injury.
Injuries hit hard at offensive tackle. Jack Baucus, a converted tight end who might have been able to help, succumbed to a knee injury and is no longer on the roster. Promising redshirt freshman Jacob Arzouman suffered a torn ACL in August practice. Another redshirt freshman tackle, Lene Maiava, played in four games before tearing his ACL.
The offensive line further had to be a mix-and-match unit to cover for in-season injuries to guard Trace Biskin, center Kyle Quinn and guard/tackle Chris Putton.
“I don’t look at it as a patchwork deal,” offensive line coach Robert Anae said a couple of weeks ago.
“Guys who are playing have earned that. They earned that. To me, if you have a patchwork approach, the guys are playing out of default. We’ve had some injuries, so there has been some of that, but I don’t like to look at it as a guy is playing out of default.
“I like to look at it as a guy has earned his time to play and deserves to be on the field.”
Said Rodriguez: “That group probably has as much pride as any group we’ve had.”
Injuries also made Arizona (more) vulnerable at every level of defense. Freshmen and walk-ons have had to step in at linebacker and at safety. Arizona’s most productive defensive lineman early in the season, senior Dominique Austin, won’t be back after suffering a foot injury in the fifth game, Rodriguez said.
The big question for this week is whether quarterback Matt Scott — as well as Putton and safety Jourdon Grandon — will return for Saturday’s game at Utah. All three starters missed last week’s 56-31 win over Colorado because of concussions.
Arizona will release its official injury list Thursday afternoon.
Looking only at guys who did or could have impacted the two-deep, here is a list of how many games Arizona players have missed (or in the case of those who won’t be back will miss) this season because of injury. Total games lost so far: 112.
|12*||OL||Jacob Arzouman, ACL|
|12*||OL||Jack Baucus, knee|
|12*||S||Adam Hall, ACL|
|12*||LB||Rob Hankins, concussion|
|12*||LB||Greg Nwoko, hip|
|8*||OT||Lene Maiava, ACL|
|8*||WR||Terrence Miller, ankle|
|3||OG||Trace Biskin, toe|
|3||LB||Hank Hobson, shoulder/neck|
|3||C||Kyle Quinn, ankle|
|2||LB||Dakota Conwell, foot|
|2||DE||Reggie Gilbert, ankle|
|2||DE||Dan Pettinato, knee|
|2||TE||Drew Robinson, illness-pneumonia|
|2||DL||Kirifi Taula, shoulder|
|2||S||Jared Tevis, ankle|
|2||FB/DE||Taimi Tutogi, neck|
|1||C||Addison Bachman, concussion|
|1||OG||Cayman Bundage, knee|
|1||S||Jourdon Grandon, concussion|
|1||WR||Johnny Jackson, ankle|
|1||OL||Chris Putton, concussion|
|1||QB||Matt Scott, concussion|