Saturday saw Meet the Rebels day and attendant scrimmage, a chance for fans to get one final look at the Rebel offense and defense before their season opener on Sept. 2. This event should otherwise transpire without too much news in its wake, but that’s unfortunately not the case.
As Ole Miss beat man Antonio Morales reports at the Clarion-Ledger, a full seven important pieces on both sides of the ball sat out of the day’s football proceedings. Among the names listed are Benito Jones, Greg Little, Jordan Wilkins and Myles Hartsfield. Yikes.
This is worrisome because we’re now inside two weeks before the 2017 opener, which, mercifully, is against FBS South Alabama. If there is an opponent Ole Miss can face with these notables on the bench it’s USA.
Even so, the shakeup on the depth chart is what’s important here. Morales reports that Breeland Speaks was running with the first-team defense in Benito’s stead, while Rod Taylor filled in for Little. Wilkins will probably get the starter nod at RB, but this season will feature a run-by-committee approach, so one cog in that machine may have to wait to see live action. D'Vaughn Pennamon has been taking first-team snaps in Wilkins’ absence.
What’s even more troubling, though, is that Little and D.D. Bowie are currently out due to concussions suffered in the past week. Bowie and Hartsfield, who’s apparently healing from a leg injury, are two of Ole Miss’ top corners, and with the secondary already running thin out on the boundary, that could spell trouble if they’re not back in a timely fashion.
The only, um, good side to this injury report is that most, if not all, of the structural injuries seem relatively minor. Little and Bowie’s concussions give one reason for worry, so Ole Miss needs to take its time with those two.
We’ll see how many of them are ready for full go in the season opener. Get well soon, guys.