first_imgBrian Chin | Daily TrojanOn Tuesday, No. 11 USC began preparation for this weekend’s road matchup against No. 13 Notre Dame. The Trojans have an unusual week as they will fly to South Bend, Ind. after Thursday’s practice as opposed to on Friday. Facing a shortened week in Los Angeles, the team is focusing on rehabbing key players, while dealing with unfortunate news on the defensive line. Josh Fatu involved in car accident After Tuesday’s practice, USC head coach Clay Helton revealed that senior nose-tackle Josh Fatu was absent after being injured in a multi-car accident. Helton noted that the accident was not his fault.“He’s going through concussion protocol right now,” Helton said. “He’s day-to-day.” The 6-foot-2, 315-pound defensive lineman is one of this year’s most improved players, stepping into the starting nose spot held by Rose Bowl Defensive MVP Stevie Tu’ikolovatu last year. Fatu has recorded 27 tackles and five sacks on the season. If Fatu is unable to play this weekend, freshman Brandon Pili is the next man on the depth chart. Other injury updates On Tuesday, Helton told reporters that junior outside linebacker Porter Gustin received an MRI and CT scan. Gustin has been out for a month with both a broken big toe and torn bicep, having not played since the Texas game. The coach noted that he would have more information regarding the defender’s status later in the week. On the offensive side of the ball, redshirt junior guard Toa Lobendahn was held out with a pectoral strain, while freshman running back Stephen Carr remains sidelined with a foot injury he sustained during the road game against Washington State. His status is uncertain for the Notre Dame game. Bigelow focuses on coachingAfter multiple season-ending injuries over the course of his career, fifth-year senior defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow Jr. is likely done playing football. “He’s kinda taking a step back from the football aspects of things after two knee surgeries,” Helton said. “He’s really going to help us coaching. That’s what he wants to do, that’s his aspirations. He’s going to mentor some young kids for us and be around this team in a different role. I credit him for all he’s done here and how he’s helping us out. I love him to death.” Bigelow suffered his most recent knee injury before the start of last season and played very sparingly over the first half of this year. When asked if his new role was permanent, Helton said that it was “for now.”last_img

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