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So It Begins: Dealing With Datone's Injury

So it begins. Yesterday captainqtp thought it'd be funny to try out some kind of reverse mojo trick with injury related news in UCLA football. Given how superstitious we often are when it comes to sports and UCLA, thought we'd be better off deleting that fanshot (even though it was meant as a joke). Too late I guess.

We just suffered our first significant injury of 2010 football season as junior DE Datone Jones is now out with a broken foot:

Jones will be lost to the Bruins until at least October, Coach Rick Neuheisel said. Jones was injured during individual drills. He had 30 tackles, including five for a loss, and four sacks last season.

Neuheisel said that Nate Chandler would probably fill Jones' spot in the opener against Kansas State on Sept. 4. Chandler moved from tight end to defensive tackle in the spring.

I don't really need to go into how much we were looking forward to Jones. You all know how much we were all excited to see him play this coming season. Let's get to how this effects the depth chart.:

Datone Jones (6-4, 269, Jr.) (13) Nate Chandler (6-5, 291, Jr.**) David Carter (6-5, 301, Sr.**) Keenan Graham (6-2, 245, Fr.**)
Damien Holmes (6-3, 265, So.**) Justin Edison (6-4, 290, Jr.**) Andy Keane (6-2, 276, Sr.**) Iuta Tepa (6-1, 248, So.)
Owamagbe Odighizuwa (6-4, 240, Fr.) Donovan Carter (6-1, 280, So.**) Cassius Marsh (6-4,285, Fr.) Reginald Stokes (6-3, 272, Sr.**)(I)

Seali'i Epenesa (6-2, 320, Fr.) Wesley Flowers (6-4, 257, Fr.) Derrick Bryant (6-3, 236, Fr.)

** notes a RSed season
() notes game started

Honestly, looking at that chart, I don't see the need to shift to Nate Chandler to DE. I wonder why the coaches won't move up Holmes up the ladder and also give Owa a shot to break into the rotation. There is also Reginald Stokes, who was out during spring camp recovering from his injury but was supposed to be back by this pre-season camp. At least on paper it seems like coaches have options besides moving Chandler.

It would be great to get an update on Stokes from the reporters covering the team. It would also be good to get a complete explanation from the coaches on why they can't keep Chandler at DT and give other guys from the dept chart to step up at DE. It just doesn't seem fair to Chandler who always seems to be the guy having to move around due to foot injury.

No doubt losing Datone sucks. He was going to be one of the key cogs in this year's defensive unit. Now he is out and even if he comes back during the season he will not be in full speed (remember how hampered Logan Paulsen was when he tried to come back from his broken foot). Still, at this point, I don't really care all that much about moaning about the Spaulding turf or Adidas cleats. As littlebrother noted in the comment threads we have all talked about those topics before.

What I am really interested in reading and hearing in next day or two is how our coaches and team captains (specifically Rahim and Akeem on defense) rally our troops. In an ideal scenario, I am hoping Chandler gets to stay at DT and other younguns are given a chance to step up while Jones is healing up from his broken foot.

Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves let's stay positive. I am curious to see how youngsters like Holmes, Grahap, Tepa and Owa step up. Guess we will have to see how the Bruins cowboy up.