The Colorado State football team has settled down after their big win against Boston College, and head coach Jim McElwain has since turned his attention towards his team’s injury situation, as well as hosting Tulsa on Saturday.
Senior tight end Kivon Cartwright has faced an ankle injury all season, which has kept him on the sideline for three out of the last four games. After weeks of confusion over whether or not the ankle injury would allow Cartwright return to the field, McElwain was finally able to provide some clarity.
“We’re going to go ahead and go back in and retighten the screw because it didn’t heal properly,” McElwain said. “So he will miss this season.”
But the Rams head coach already has plans for Cartwright’s future.
“He had a pretty bad injury as a freshman,” McElwain said. “There’s a possibility we could get a sixth year back, but that’s not something you can apply for till after the season.”
Replacing Cartwright is junior Steven Walker, who has impressed coaches so far this season.
“When we recruited we felt that he could do a lot of things with the ball in his hands,” McElwain said. “What I’m really proud of is how he’s attacked the blocking part of it. He and Nolan Peralta have done a fantastic job doing it.
After taking a beating from the Boston College defense, Garrett Grayson has been put on a ‘pitch-count,’ a term coaches like to use when they limit the amount of throws their quarterbacks is allowed in practice. For Grayson, the pitch-count wasn’t very high.
“His pitch count was about zero today,” McElwain said. “Garrett came out and handled all the run-drill situations, but we have to have the pitch count on I don’t know what’s going on with his shoulder. He kind of lobbed them around a little bit and there definitely wasn’t much on them, but he should be ready.”
Although Grayson was limited in practice, when McElwain was asked whether or not he’d give his quarterback the week off, he was very clear on his intent.
“Our quarterback? No,” McElwain said. “I haven’t had a consideration, I mean, he’s got a bruise. If he’s not able to perform by the end of Wednesday’s practice and then obviously Thursday, then we’ll go ahead and throw (Nick Stevens) in there.”
All signs point to Grayson being ready to play on Saturday, but if not, redshirt freshman Nick Stevens is ready to take the start. Stevens completed his first collegiate pass in the fourth quarter against UC Davis in week three, so he’s gotten at least some game day reps.
The Rams will certainly benefit this week from the potential return of junior wide receiver Joe Hansley, who has been an explosive playmaker at the position in his career at CSU. According to McElwain, Hansley has passed all of his initial tests and will now move on to more physical exertion.
Someone the Rams will be missing against Tulsa on Saturday is junior linebacker Nu’uvali Fa’apito, who will be out with an injury. But the Rams’ backups have played exceptionally well this season, and CSU is deep at the linebacker position.
Collegian Sports Reporter Steven Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @steven_jacobs_.