Redshirt junior quarterback Kwadra Griggs likely will be sidelined through the end of the week after banging up a finger.
Griggs is in a two-man competition with sophomore Keon Howard for the starting quarterback job. Griggs completed 21 of 26 passes for 217 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday’s second preseason scrimmage of the summer.
“He’ll be back,” Hopson said. “We’re just going to sit him three or four days. He just got a little finger bang up, but he’s fine. It doesn’t need anything (surgical). We’re just going to rest him three or four days.”
Griggs’ absence meant No. 3 quarterback, freshman Marcelo Rodriguez, picked up additional snaps Tuesday.
Hopson said Griggs’ injury could be a blessing in disguise.
“Any time you go into the season, you want to have three quarterbacks ready,” Hopson said. “I think we proved that last year.”
Howard had his redshirt removed late in the 2016 season after starting quarterback Nick Mullens and backup Parker Adamson were injured against the University of North Carolina-Charlotte on Nov. 5, 2016.
The team finished the game with backup running back Tez Parker taking a snap. Howard started the next two games before Mullens returned for the season finale and then the 2016 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to have three ready,” Hopson said.
Osborne leaves team
University of Southern Mississippi senior linebacker Evan Osborne has decided to hang up the spikes and helmet.
USM football coach Jay Hopson confirmed that Osborne was no longer with the team, but that he would remain in school and was expected to graduate in December.
Osborne, who was redshirted in 2016, had played as a true freshman after graduating from Pearl High School in 2013. He played primarily on special teams. His most productive season came in 2015, when he appeared in all 14 of USM’s games, recording a career-high 16 tackles. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 28 yards against Louisiana Tech University on Nov. 28, 2015.