Ole Miss fans today aren’t able to enjoy a dramatic win over Vanderbilt as much as they thought they might as more injury news has hit the Rebels, and this is the worst yet.
Starting guard Aaron Morris sustained a torn ACL and is done for the season. Starting linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche had surgery today on a torn meniscus (knee) and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.
Coaches have liked their depth at linebacker with junior Serderius Bryant behind Nkemdiche. Bryant did not play against Vanderbilt.
Morris spent the off-season recovering from shoulder surgery, and for two days in camp he was demoted to second team.
Senior Jared Duke was listed behind him on the first depth chart, but freshman Austin Golson played extensively in the first game.
Senior Patrick Junen will also be available, but the absence of Morris will really test the young depth offensive line coach Matt Luke has been trying to build.
Junen missed much of camp with a foot injury that has not completely healed.
It’s possible Laremy Tunsil could move into the starting left tackle spot. There’s obviously a lot of trust with him at the position, based on the number of snaps he got and when he got them in Nashville. That would leave one of the senior tackles, Emmanuel McCray or Pierce Burton, to possibly move inside to guard.
Injuries along the OL are a new obstacle for an Ole Miss team that had none of significance last year.