The public’s first glimpse at heralded receiver-turned-running back Camion Patrick will have to wait.
Patrick will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair an injured knee and will miss Indiana’s spring football game on Friday evening. IU coach Kevin Wilson said the junior college transfer could be dealing with a ligament tear, but doctors won’t know exactly what they’re dealing with until the operation.
A timeline for Patrick’s recovery is unclear, though Wilson said he expects him to be limited for summer workouts.
“We’ll get in there and see,” Wilson said. “I think they’re kind of waiting to see. We’re not sure if it’s a full tear, a partial tear — is it an ACL (tear), is it cartilage? We’ll know after surgery.”
The knee injury, which he suffered earlier this month, is the latest blow to Patrick’s Indiana football career.
After arriving on campus last summer, he failed to academically qualify to play during the 2015 season. Patrick finished the summer a credit short after trying to fit — and pass — a class into an accelerated summer schedule. IU petitioned the NCAA to deem Patrick eligible, but that request was ultimately denied.
This spring, Patrick was in the running to become Indiana’s next starting running back. Although he originally joined IU’s program as a receiver after two standout years on East Mississippi Community College’s back-to-back national championship teams, the Hoosiers thought he could bring power and athleticism to a backfield that lost leading rusher Jordan Howard to the NFL Draft.
Patrick, a 6-foot-2, 223-pound former Tennessee commit, was IU’s scout team player of the year last fall, and earned weekly honors on four occasions.
Assorted injuries will also keep a list of additional players from participating in Friday’s spring game.
Among them are a few notable offensive lineman. All-American guard Dan Feeney underwent an ankle procedure on Tuesday to clean up a bone spur issue. Center Wes Rogers has a stress fracture and is currently wearing a booth, while guard Jacob Bailey is also expected to sit out Friday’s action.
Defensive lineman Robert McCray is dealing with turf toe and tight end Austin Dorris has an arm injury. They’ll both sit, too. Wilson also said players like receiver J-Shun Harris, linebacker Dameon Willis, linebacker Zeke Walker, safety Chase Dutra and safety Jameel Cook — all of whom have been limited by various injuries this spring — will be held out of the spring game.
“The only real setback injury is really Camion with his knee,” Wilson said. “We’ll get that surgery. Everything else, it’s been our most physical and most combative (spring) and our team, I think, is in good shape leading into Thursday, leading into Friday and we need to finish up well.”
Short field for spring game
Wilson expects to run between 70 and 80 plays during Friday’s scrimmage, but the Hoosiers won’t have all 100 yards available to them.
Due to the Little 500 concert, which features electronic dance music artist Flosstradamus and is scheduled to begin shortly after the spring game concludes, Wilson expects to only have an 80-yard field for use. The goal post in the south end zone of Memorial stadium will be removed within the next couple days so that workers may erect a stage for the concert.
Instead of a true game, Indiana will scrimmage with its first-team offense facing the first-team defense and marching in the direction of the north end zone. Wilson said the head-to-head scrimmage portion of the event will last approximately one hour.
“We’re going to have a lot of fan activity,” Wilson said. “Gonna try to get some fans on the field to call some plays, maybe let them stand and be a quarterback or right beside the quarterback and let them feel the rush, or be the punter. So we want to have a great turnout.”
New turf coming soon
Indiana is expected to replace the field turf inside Memorial Stadium after spring graduation, Wilson said on Tuesday.
The current turf, which has been in place since the summer of 2008, appears to have reached the end of its lifespan. At times during the last few seasons, the end zones and field portion have looked excessively worn.
“Hopefully it will be in place when we start our camps the first week of June,” Wilson said. “… If not, we still have great field space for summer practice. But it should be in place by the first of June, if we’re fortunate.”