We're now midway through a UTEP season and we have suffered some significant injuries that will shape the rest of the season. Obviously, UTEP lost veteran safety Braxton Amy for the season and Donald Buckram has been limited to only 22 carries so far in this season.
Today, at his weekly press conference, Coach Mike Price gave us some insight into the state of injuries of many players including D Buck.
"Will Osolinsky is ready to play. It was good for Buckram to kick the rust off a little bit. He really didn't practice at all last week. He got the injection on Friday and it worked like a charm. Brandon Miller suited up against Rice but did not play, and he's going to be ready to play this week. We might get Eloy Atkinson back, although he got hurt in warm-ups when a guy ran into him accidentally. Marlon McClure will probably be back and will be able to play more. He was really hindered and didn't play much. I saw Tanner Cullumber this morning and he was feeling good, but it's still going to take a couple more weeks. Anthony Morrow could be back. He was on the sidelines Saturday and if he's not back this week then he should be the following week."
The biggest news here is that starting center Tanner Cullumber is expected to miss a few more weeks with his knee injury. It's hard to complain about UTEP's schedule so far this season, but there's no denying a bye week right now would go a long way toward helping safety Brandon Miller, safety Eloy Atkinson, WR/KR Marlon McClure, and LB Anthony Morrow, and LT WIll Osolinsky recover from nagging injuries.
Buckram probably doesn't want or need a bye week. If anything he simply needs as many carries in game situations as possible to help him get his rhythm back. Even though at times he's looked to be hesitant and not full speed, he's averaging a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. I'd expect to see him become an even bigger part of the game plan at UAB this week.
It is good to hear that Will Osolinsky should be back this week. Lance Evbuomwan has done a stellar job filling in at left tackle, but the Miners need to get back to full strength along the line with Cullumber at least a few more weeks.