November 12, 2012
Matthews: No Injury Updates
James Madison football coach Mickey Matthews said Monday that football practice would be closed this week in preparation for the Old Dominion game Saturday, and that he would not discuss injuries.
This is unusual. Practice is always open, and Matthews is, typically, very forthcoming with injuries. Monday, when asked to update the quarterback situation, he refused.
"No comment on injuries this week," Matthews said.
After the Villanova game, Matthews said that QB Justin Thorpe hurt his ankle and shoulder. Michael Birdsong, who briefly supplanted Thorpe as the starter, hurt his ankle two weeks ago at Maine and was in a boot all last week. It's a mystery who will start/play against ODU. Lafonte Thourogood is a possibility, but he hasn't played in a game since high school. He redshirted at Vanderbilt last season.
Saturday's game against Old Dominion is very important. The Dukes aren't a lock to make the Division I-AA playoffs, and a win over ODU would enhance their chances. If JMU wins, it would be just its second victory over a team with a winning record this season.
If Madison doesn't make the playoffs, it would be an astounding disappointment. JMU entered the season with national-championship expectations and an experienced team. It's not surprising that Matthews would pick this week to limit access, considering what a win would mean.
It is only the second time this season that Matthews has limited access. For one game earlier this season, he made players off-limits after Wednesday. Typically, they're available after every practice.
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