Mississippi State loses Damien Robinson for season with torn ACL
The Mississippi State Bulldogs suffered a big loss following Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage to wrap up two weeks of practice on “The Farm.”
Head coach Dan Mullen announced Monday that projected starting right tackle Damien Robinson will miss the entire 2014 season after suffering a torn ACL in Friday’s scrimmage. Mullen and the coaching staff have less than two weeks to decide on Robinson’s replacement before opening the season against Southern Miss.
The fifth-year senior had played primarily special teams during his college career while providing depth at both guard and tackle. Now MSU’s depth on the offensive line will truly be tested with the loss of Robinson on the right side.
The Bulldogs could turn to redshirt junior Justin Malone to move from guard to tackle in Robinson’s absence, leaving sophomore Jamaal Clayborn to fill in at guard. This may be the most likely result in the wake of Robinson’s season-ending injury, as Malone was listed as the starting right tackle on Mullen’s first official depth chart in MSU’s Media Guide, released in mid-July.
Clayborn was also listed as the starting left guard on that depth chart following the departure of All-SEC guard Gabe Jackson for the NFL. Robinson had since earned the nod at right tackle, with Malone moving inside to guard, however that series of moves may be undone in Robinson’s absence.
Mississippi State’s other option would be to turn to one of three backup tackles – Justin Senior, Rufus Warren and Cole Carter – who all have zero starts between them during their college careers. Warren was playing tight end for Mississippi State as recently as last fall.
“That was a position you weren’t deep at,” Mullen told the Clarion-Ledger. “You were hoping that a Justin Senior and Rufus could really spend this year in the supporting cast instead of the starring role.
“But hey, sometimes in Hollywood you get your breaks at the right place and the right time.”