Lamar TE out with broken hand
A bye week that was supposed to help the Lamar University football team get healthy ended with another costly injury for the Cardinals.
Starting tight end Case Robinson suffered a broken hand during a team practice on Sunday, coach Mike Schultz announced at his weekly press conference on Monday.
Robinson will have surgery Tuesday. At best, he will return in two or three weeks. At worst, he’s done for the season, Schultz said.
“It all depends on how the surgery goes and how it heals up,” Schultz said of Robinson’s hand.
The injury to Robinson takes away an effective red-zone target for Lamar. The junior had four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. After making the switch from quarterback to tight end last season, Robinson led Lamar in touchdown catches a year ago.
Robinson also was an athletic blocker in the run game, helping Lamar lead the conference in rushing with 226.2 yards per game.
“Case brings so much leadership to the offense and makes such smart decisions on his own appeal, so there’s no doubt this hurts us,” Schultz said.
Lamar now must turn to a group of younger tight ends. Sophomores Mason Sikes and Dawud Shorts will split the duties for now, Schultz said. Sikes, who is dealing with a minor shoulder injury himself, caught a 44-yard touchdown pass last week in a loss at Nicholls. Shorts has played mostly on special teams this season.
Even if Robinson can return this season, he’ll have to wear a brace on the injured hand, Schultz said.
Robinson is just the latest on a long list of injuries on the Lamar team:
Starting running back Myles Wanza is still recovering from a shoulder injury.
Senior defensive back Rodney Randle is nursing an ankle sprain.
Defensive back Tyler Rios (ankle), linebacker Isaiah Spencer (knee) and receiver Zae Giles (foot) are all listed as day-to-day.
Robinson’s injury came on a day that Lamar normally doesn’t even practice. Because the Cardinals we off on Saturday, Schultz held a “lengthy session” in full pads on Sunday in which the team started going over game plans and schemes for this week’s game against Incarnate Word.
In order to stay fresh, Schultz said the team won’t wear pads during no-contact practices on Wednesday and Thursday.
Lamar’s game on Saturday will be its first afternoon contest of the season at home. The Cardinals have played their home games at 6 p.m. so far this season. Moving forward, all of Lamar’s games played in Beaumont will start at 3 p.m. — a decision made at the start of the season.
Schultz said he likes the earlier start, but doesn’t think it will have any effect on his team.
Schultz sees an improved Incarnate Word team as just another sign of the continued parity within the Southland Conference.
Incarnate Word went 1-10 last season, with its only win coming against Lamar in San Antonio. This season, Incarnate Word (3-2, 3-0) will enter Saturday as one of just two remaining Southland teams with an unblemished conference record.
“Let me tell you something, there’s even more (parity) this year,” Schultz said. “The conference is tight. Every week you go out, you’ve got a chance to win. And every week you’ve got a change to lose. I think that’s reflected in Lamar. We were in the Northwestern game, we were in Southeastern game and we were in the Nicholls game early, and that’s three pretty good opponents.
“Our players have a bad taste in their mouths and I think they’re ready to get that taste out,” Schultz said.