Shafer: Long highly doubtful for Duke game on Saturday, Wilson primed to step up

first_imgFreshman quarterback AJ Long is “extremely doubtful” for Syracuse’s game against No. 22 Duke on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., SU head coach Scott Shafer said in his weekly press conference Thursday morning. Sophomore Austin Wilson is ready to step up in Long’s place, Shafer added.Long has a nerve issue in his throwing arm after apparently being stepped on during the Orange’s loss to North Carolina State on Saturday. He has the cleat mark near his neck and shoulder to prove it.The true freshman was hurting after the game, Shafer said, but the injury was only considered a brief soft tissue issue that would only require a bit of time to heal. Long toughed it out in Monday’s practice and tried to continue to hide his discomfort during Tuesday’s practice, but his hand went numb and the coaches handed more reps to Wilson.“He’s a tough son of a gun. Holy cow, he’s a tough guy,” Shafer said of Long. “So really, we knew about it after the game but we didn’t know exactly what it was or where it was. I’ve had nerve problems in the hand and obviously you can’t function if you can’t feel it right.“… I think he’ll be fine, but it’s probably going to take some time and that’s why we’re going to go ahead and list him as extremely doubtful.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe last time Wilson was on the field, he was on the receiving end of a jarring hit and had to be helped off the field by SU trainers during the Orange’s loss to Florida State on Oct. 11. Shafer said after the game that Wilson, a week after Terrel Hunt went down with his fractured fibula, had a “pretty good headache.”Wilson was limited in practice for a couple of weeks, Shafer said, but has felt “great” the last two weeks and has had a good week of work taking Long’s reps.“You adjust to your offense to the skill sets that your players have,” Shafer said. “Austin’s got a big, strong arm. He can make any of the throws so we’ll have to accentuate those strengths that he has and lean on those kinds of traits.”Shafer added that the Orange did pretty well against N.C. State in pass protection considering the shuffling parts due to injuries on the offensive line.Considering Wilson isn’t quite the mobile threat Long or Hunt are, Syracuse may very well have to rely on the pass much more than it’s had to this season and Shafer didn’t deny it.“We’re going to consider everything and anything possible in this world to try to find a way to beat Duke,” Shafer said, “and that would be one of those things that we look at.” Comments Published on November 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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