COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur.com) The offensive line is considered a strength of South Carolina's team this season but the group has now faced its first piece of adversity.
Starting right guard Mike Matulis went down with what could be a major knee injury during Saturday's scrimmage, the final one before the season-opener against Texas A&M.
Following practice, Matulis was on the training table with his left knee in an immobilizing brace. Flanked by his roommates Will Sport and Cody Gibson, he used crutches to slowly walk back towards the locker room.
"Mike Matulis sprained his knee fairly severely," head coach Steve Spurrier said. "We'll wait to check him out to see how severe it was."
After Matulis went down, Spurrier said that sophomore Cody Waldrop practiced some at right guard with sophomore Clayton Stadnik at center.
He also said junior Mason Zandi, a backup tackle, worked some at right guard.
"We switched it around," Spurrier said. "If we had to replace Matulis, it would be Cody and Stadnik (at center) in all likelihood. We're hoping it won't be severe. He felt a twinge and then a sharp pain but we'll wait and see how severe the injury is."
Matulis, a former Freshman All-American has battled several shoulder injuries over the course of his career. He redshirted a season ago after undergoing his second major shoulder operation.
The Boynton Beach, Fla. native made five starts as a freshman and five more his sophomore year in 2012 when he suffered his first shoulder injury.
Matulis, if his new injury is a season-ending one, could apply for a medical hardship.
Sport is listed as the second-team right guard behind Matulis on the preseason depth chart with redshirt freshman D.J. Park listed as third-team.
Redshirt freshman Na'Ty Rodgers has spent significant time at right guard during fall camp. He was locked in a position battle at right guard with Matulis during spring practice before Matulis won the job.