Ole Miss's blowout win over Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend didn't come without consequences. Rebel running backs I'Tavius Mathers and Jordan Wilkins are both banged up coming out of that game and may not practice during the bye week, according to Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger.
Mathers, who led the team in rushing a season ago and started the scoring against ULL with a 56-yard touchdown run, is dealing with a toe injury and according to Hugh Freeze, "should be OK, but it may take a couple weeks."
Wilkins, who's carved himself out a foothold as a short yardage back, sounds a bit more concerning. Freeze said the team is waiting to get results back on the freshman's knee, which swelled up after the game.
How bad is this?
Honestly, not that bad. Losing Mathers could be a problem, but he sounds as though he'll be fine. It's well-timed with the bye week, so even if he's forced to miss two weeks he could be back in time to play Memphis on Sept. 27. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Freeze gives him that game off to make sure he's fully recovered for the showdown against Alabama the following week. Mathers is interchangeable with Jaylen Walton, so the offense shouldn't miss him against Memphis.
Mathers hasn't exactly been killing it anyway -- take away his long touchdown run against the Ragin' Cajuns and he's averaging just 2.4 yards per carry.
At 6'1, 209 pounds, Wilkins is one of the few members of the Rebels' crowded rushing rotation with size. He impressed the coaches by moving the pile against Boise State, but only has 14 carries for 47 yards on the season. He was expected to become the short yardage specialist, but that job appears to have gone to Jeremy Liggins at this point. Expect to see Mark Dodson pick up a few more carries as long as Wilkins is sidelined.