USC got some players back vs Colorado, but questions linger heading into UCLA

The Travis Dye injury was and is the huge story for USC in the Colorado game, and we have a bunch of stories this Saturday morning on that crushing turn of events. We do have other important items to cover, however, and the best place to start is the collection of other injury and player availability situations facing the Trojans with UCLA Game Week now upon us.

USC needs all hands on deck against the Bruins. It’s the defining game of the season even when the Trojans and Bruins aren’t very good. This year, of course, they are both very good. The winner likely gets a spot opposite Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The winner might also have a good shot at a New Year’s Six bowl bid.

Let’s give you a look at the other important non-Travis Dye injury situations at USC:

JORDAN ADDISON

ADDISON AND MARIO WILLIAMS PREGAME

MARIO WILLIAMS WITH THE SECOND TEAM

ANDREW VORHEES

VORHEES FOLLOW-UP

Riley saying it was planned for Vorhees to play limited snaps is a huge relief for USC. People were wondering if he aggravated an injury. That was not the case. It’s clear he was being saved for UCLA, which makes complete sense.

ERIC GENTRY

GENTRY FOLLOW-UP

Gentry does not seem to be nearly as advanced in his recovery as Mario Williams or other USC players. That hurts, because USC desperately needs him against UCLA’s athletes.

RALEN GOFORTH

MORE GOFORTH

DOMANI JACKSON

Lincoln Riley said this to the USC Rivals site:

“Domani, progressing, still certainly think there’s a shot for him to be available for us here at the back end of the year. He’s certainly closer than further away ,” Riley said. “So we hope to, here at the end of the regular season or postseason, have his services available. He’s made some really nice progress the last two weeks, starting to get him on the ground, moving, doing some drill work. So he’s certainly getting close and would be a nice added boost for us right now.”

BOBBY HASKINS

MORE ON HASKINS

COURTLAND FORD -- LIMITED OR SIMPLY IN THE DOGHOUSE?

QUICK EARLY THOUGHTS ABOUT UCLA

USC really needs Eric Gentry back, given that Travis Dye’s injury is likely to limit the Trojans’ offense to a certain extent.

THE GOOD NEWS

USC should enter the UCLA game with Jordan Addison close to full strength and Andrew Vorhees fully ready to go. They didn’t aggravate any injuries against Colorado and were able to log some snaps to build some rhythm. They won’t enter the UCLA game cold (which is what Gentry will have to do if he is able to play).

OFFENSIVE LINE

Assuming Vorhees is a full go against UCLA, that should move Bobby Haskins back to left tackle with Mason Murphy moved down on the depth chart. USC needs its best offensive line performance of the year against the Bruins.

MARIO WILLIAMS

Having Mario Williams against UCLA would be huge, but given how well Tahj Washington and Michael Jackson have been playing, having those guys plus Jordan Addison gives the Trojans a lot of options and a lot of speed. This is not meant to suggest that Mario Williams is an optional piece who is not really needed; that’s not true. It is a way of saying that USC’s depth at wide receiver can cover for Williams if he can’t go. Getting Addison back would be substantial.

RALEN GOFORTH

Similar to Jordan Addison and Andrew Vorhees, it’s good that Goforth was merely able to play at all against Colorado and get the blood pumping again. He won’t enter the UCLA game cold, after several weeks off. If Eric Gentry can’t go, Goforth must play and must be reasonably effective. Playing against Colorado is a good sign and a step in the right direction for USC.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire