To say that USC’s 2016 season has gotten off to a resounding thud would be an understatement.
Embarrassed by Alabama in the opener, the Trojans piled on themselves with a shameful display of groin-stomping during the course of the woodshedding. At practice earlier this week, JuJu Smith-Schuster and a teammate in a physical altercation that saw punches thrown and the star wide receiver briefly leaving practice. And then there’s the ongoing rape investigation involving a pair of linebackers hanging over the program as well.
Now, a starting offensive lineman, Toa Lobendahn, could be sidelined as the Trojans look to bounce back in Week 2.
Lobendahn (pictured, No. 50) sustained an injury to his right knee in the loss to the Tide, and has not practiced at all this week even as it didn’t knock hm out of the opener. Fluid was drained from the knee Tuesday, with Lobendahn undergoing an MRI Wednesday night.
Head coach Clay Helton gave the center a “50-50” chance of playing Saturday against Utah State, and even allowed that Lobendahn could be out for an extended period of time.
Lobendahn missed the last half of the 2016 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. He also underwent surgery in high school on the same knee that’s ailing him now, leading Helton to say the program plans “to be ultra-careful” with his situation.
When healthy, Lobendahn has started every game of his collegiate career. He’s made eight starts at left guard, five at left tackle, five at right guard and three at center