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January 2, 2006SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The first day of practice is always a dangerous one when it comes to injuries. A long layoff coupled with attempts to impress coaches oftent leads to numerous dings on day one. Things are no different in San Antonio, Tex. for the East squad where a few players were sidelined or had to leave and return following injuries.
The first injury of the day appears to be the worst as South Carolina defensive end Ricky Sapp injured his right foot/ankle. Sapp was going to be taken to the hospital for x-rays on Monday night so more will be known on Tuesday, but he missed almost all of practice and was icing the area down the whole day. It could be a broken bone and, at best, a sprain. Whether Sapp will be back at all this week is uncertain.
Wide receiver Jarred Fayson came into the week nursing a leg injury that forced him to miss the CaliFlorida Bowl this past weekend. Fayson gave it a go early, but came up limping and the trainers told him to call it a day. Linebacker Jarrell Miller pulled a groin muscle and was forced to miss the second session of practice. Miller was limping noticeably at the end of the day.
Offensive center Daniel Wenger tweaked his knee in one of the offensive line drills but didn't miss a snap while defensive tackle Jacques McClendon left the field limping at one point as well. McClendon returned but his limp was noticeable after practice. Alabama tough guy Bart Eddins was in quite a bit of pain after going one-on-one with Connor Smith in one drill, but played through the pain. It was apparently his shoulder as Eddins had the trainers wrap his left shoulder tightly during a break. He didn't miss any time.
The scariest moment was when running back Chris Wells twisted his knee awkwardly after his foot gave way on the fake turf. Wells stayed down for a minute, was helped off the field and limped back on. A few minutes later he took a sweep into the end zone in a goalline drill, so all seemed fine.
On the West side, the only injury reported was an ankle injury to cornerback Jai Eugene, which was late in practice. His status won't be known until Tuesday.
Many were wondering why wide receiver Vidal Hazelton didn't participate much in the second session, but his was an equipment issue rather than an injury situation. Hazelton's helmet apparently arrived broken so he shared one with tight end Nate Byham through the first session. Then he had an issue with his cleets which ended his day.