Sports

Deebo Samuel’s 2017 Season Is Done

South Carolina superstar out for the year with a broken leg …

The University of South Carolina football team didn’t just suffer a soul-crushing defeat against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night, the Gamecocks lost the heart and soul of their squad.

Junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel is done for the year – or at least that’s what his coach said.

Samuel – South Carolina’s electrifying kickoff returner and featured offensive weapon – will more than likely miss the remainder of the 2017 season after suffering a broken bone in his leg during the third quarter of Saturday night’s 23-13 loss to Kentucky.  The 6-foot-0, 210-pound native of Inman, S.C. sustained the injury after a Wildcat defender rolled over his ankle following a nine-yard completion from sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley.

Samuel attempted to reenter the game after being injured, but it quickly became clear that he was unable to go on … with good reason.

When he finally came to the sidelines for good, he slammed his helmet to the ground in disgust.

Samuel tweeted after the game that he didn’t break his leg, but instead suffered a “low ankle fracture.”  According to him, he “will be back in 5-6 weeks.”

https://twitter.com/Uno_Captain/status/909266475759828992

If Samuel’s timeline is accurate we could conceivably see him return to action for the final four games of the season – but the Gamecock coaching staff clearly believes they will be without him for the duration of the year.

Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp was asked by a reporter after the game how big a loss Samuel’s injury would be to his team.

“What do you think?”  Muschamp responded.

That’s pretty much all he needed to say …

Through the first three games of this season, Samuel caught fifteen passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns.  He also had a 25-yard rushing touchdown and a pair of 97-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns.

“He’s hard to replace, but it’s next guy up,” Bentley said of his favorite target.

The problem?  South Carolina doesn’t have a “next guy” like Samuel.  Hardly any college team does.  He’s the sort of performer whose absence can cost a team three, maybe four victories a year (wins Muschamp desperately needs).

Fifth-year senior linebacker Skai Moore said it was up to his unit to help mitigate the impact of Samuel’s loss.

“We just have to hold them to less points,” Moore said.  “Get our offense back on the field.”

That’s easier said than done – especially after Kentucky converted on numerous critical third down plays against South Carolina’s defense on Saturday night.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Samuel is correct and the Gamecock coaching staff is wrong in its assessment, but either way – his loss for any amount of time is an absolutely devastating blow to the South Carolina program.

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