In the big picture, none of UTEP's four injuries are catastrophic.
Right tackle James Nelson, who has a high ankle sprain, will miss up to a month, but Aubrey Alexius’ quadriceps, Jerel Watkins’ ankle and James Robinson’s knee could be healthy in time for next week’s game at SMU.
A year after a promising UTEP season was wrecked by injuries, however, Mike Price is already somewhere beyond worried.
“It really concerns me,” he said at Monday’s press luncheon, which came two days after Alexius and Nelson were hurt in the second half of the mock game. “Everything I do, I think of injuries and the health of the players first. I’m kicking myself in the butt on why I didn’t stop it at halftime. I had that opportunity but my competitive juices were flowing and I wanted to do better.
“I should have closed it down at halftime. I’d feel better about myself and my team today. I’m gunshy, snake-bit because of all the injuries.”
Instead, Price indicated that Monday he was still deciding what kind of game he wanted to call for the Stony Brook opener now that two guards and an offensive tackle are likely out.
“We’re reevaluating that depending on how the offensive line looks this week,” he said. “I probably would have some in thinking about running it, let (quarterback) Nick (Lamaison) get his feet on the ground. ...
“I’d probably like to be conservative, take care of the football.”