Jacksonville State has a bye week this weekend, and no one prior to the season could have seen just how fitting it would be for that bye to come at this time. JSU fell to 1-2 in OVC Saturday falling to Tennessee State, but worse than that, Jax State suffered a series of injuries that could affect the rest of the season.
Sure-handed receiver Dalton Screws suffered a broken collarbone.
Screws, a redshirt freshman out of Anniston, AL. has 10 receptions for 137 yards this season. He also has special teams duties as the holder for Griffin Thomas on field goals and PATs, at the moment Thomas is the leading kicker in all of FCS. Screws had surgery Tuesday, which reportedly went well. He is expected to miss at least a month, but attempt to return by the end of the season.
Shortell, junior transfer quarterback from Minnesota, suffered a leg injury which required crutches to move around for at least the remainder of game. The injury’s believed to not be serious and he could return as early as Tennessee Tech in two weeks following the bye week. If not, neither of JSU’s next two opponents have a winning record and backup Eli Jenkins had shown he can step into the role.
Third string Kyle West took snaps as well late Saturday.
Merrill, the strong sophomore receiver out of St. Augustine, FL. suffered a more serious injury by way of a hip injury. He is out for the remainder of the season, but reports along with statements from coach Clark make it seem the injury is not as bad as the staff initially feared and Merrill’s health and even football career should return to normal with time. Merrill was second on the team in receptions and yards (24 for 363) and led the way with two touchdowns.