Southern California senior flanker Damian Williams, who leads the Trojans with 45 receptions for 688 yards and five touchdowns, has been officially ruled out of Saturday’s game against Stanford at the Coliseum.
USC head coach Pete Carroll made that announcement after practice on Thursday evening.
Redshirt freshman Brice Butler is expect to start in place of Williams. And junior tailback Joe McKnight will assume Williams’ punt return duties.
Williams’ availability had been in question since suffering a right ankle sprain in USC’s 14-9 victory at Arizona State last Saturday. He caught only two passes versus the Sun Devils, but one of them was a 75-yard touchdown connection with freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, which was the Trojans’ only offensive score of the game.
While Barkley will be without his favorite target during Saturday’s crucial game against the Cardinal, he did receive some good news on Thursday as senior tight end Anthony McCoy is expected to return to the USC huddle after missing the past two games with a right ankle injury of his own.
McCoy, who has been limited in practice this week, is the Trojans’ second leading receiver with 16 catches for 375 yards and a touchdown.