For the second time in the opening quarter of the its 2016 season, Ole Miss saw a key player carted away with an apparent knee injury. No. 2 running back Eric Swinney was being tended to on the sideline just before the end of the quarter and was taken to the locker room shortly thereafter. He did not return to the game and his status moving forward is unknown.
On the first possession of the game, top cornerback Kendarius Webster went down with what looked like a serious injury and was carted off in obvious pain.
Swinney, who missed all of his freshman season with an injury, was the star of training camp, ripping off a string of highlight-worthy runs. His value became all that more important when co-starter Jordan Wilkins was ruled academically ineligible just a few weeks before the season. Wilkins, who was listed beside Akeem Judd on top of the depth chart, won't be available until the bowl game.
"I could’ve easily never have been playing football again," Swinney told The Clarion-Ledger earlier this month when asked about the injury that ended his freshman year before it began. "It just feels good to be back on the field playing football. It’s been a grind, the injuries and everything. But everything happens for a reason. I just felt like it’s my time now to do what I have to do."
Swinney tweeted this after the game:
Thank you everyone for your prayers God has a plan for me and I believe he wouldn't put me through anything I cant handle #GoRebs— Eric Swinney (@EricSwinney) September 6, 2016