Utah State football keeps losing players to season-ending injuries.
First there was striker Anthony Switzer, who was lost before the season even started when he tore his ACL during the Blue vs. White game, which closes out spring ball.
Both Van Leeuwen and Paea suffered season-ending knee injuries against Weber State two weeks ago, significant blows to the Aggies’ receiving corp and defensive front, respectively.
Saturday night against UNLV, yet another Aggie went down, his season likely over.
Per Utah State head coach Blake Anderson, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Seni Tuiaki suffered a dislocated ankle late in the first quarter of the Aggies’ 34-24 loss to the Rebels.
Tuiaki was carted off the field and did not return. Given the nature of the injury, Anderson believes Tuiaki’s season is over.
“Dislocated ankle,” Anderson said. “It is back in place, but as you’d expect there’ll be some damage there and I am assuming he will be done for the year. Probably will need surgery to repair ligaments. That is pretty typical with that kind of injury.”
The loss of Tuiaki is a significant blow to the Aggies’ defensive line, which was already without Paea and has been without Hale Motu’apuaka, Poukesi Vakauta and Byron Vaughns at various times this season. (Motu’apuaka missed the Weber State game, Vakauta the Alabama game, while Vaughns sat out the loss to UNLV with a high ankle sprain.)
“Not being able to be 100% in the room is hard,” Motu’apuaka said after Saturday’s game. “But I am very proud of the younger guys who have stepped up, especially Tavian Coleman and Bo Maile. They’ve done a great job stepping up and playing for us. They were thrown into the fire, especially Bo — Tavian was already going to see playing time. Bo stepped up and showed no fear. He is a tough kid.”