10/1: Injury update

Not unlike most teams more than a month through the season, Army has been ravaged by injuries. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, fullback Connor Slomka and safety Jaylon McClinton are just a few of the notable names on the team who have missed some time over the course of the first four games.

Coming off a bye week, some players have gotten healthy, while others are still on the mend. Here’s what we know for sure (and, more appropriately, what we don’t know) as Army prepares for its Saturday noon kickoff against Tulane.

Quarterback

Kelvin Hopkins, Jabari Laws and Christian Anderson have all thrown passes this season, and it’s anyone’s guess which one of the three will be in action on Saturday. When asked on Tuesday who was starting, head coach Jeff Monken said, “Don’t know.” If Hopkins can’t go, Monken said, “either Jabari or Christian” would start. In other words, a decision has not yet been made.

Monken said after the Morgan State game that Hopkins was healthy enough to play if needed, and he did come in for one snap. Since Army has no intention to rest its starters against Tulane, it’s likely a safe bet Hopkins starts, barring a setback.

Laws was injured in the first half against Morgan State and did not return. Monken was optimistic about his health on Tuesday, but noncommittal on whether he’d be a full go come Saturday.

Anderson, the only uninjured quarterback of the trio, proved at least serviceable in the Black Knights’ most recent victory in the absence of the first- and second-string signal callers.

Offensive line

Several offensive linemen have gone down with injury this season, and the bye week didn’t magically heal all wounds. Monken said, “There’s still guys who are banged up.”

He said there’s been three freshmen taking significant reps on the offensive line, a sign that Army will need to tap into at least some of its reserves against Tulane.

“It’s not a great situation to be in,” Monken said. “We would much prefer to be healthy and have the same five guys trotting out there.”

Safeties

Cam Jones is out at safety this week after both delivering and sustaining an injury on a tackle in the last game.

Safety Jaylon McClinton, who has missed two games after suffering an injury at Michigan, has a chance to return on Saturday. Monken said, “We hope that Jaylon will be ready.”

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