KENT: The second day of Kent State’s preseason practice was nearly complete when some late live action left Tyshon Goode lying face down on the turf at Dix Stadium, clutching the back of his left leg.
The rest of the team kneeled while trainers rushed over to Goode, a senior wide receiver, and spent several minutes assessing the situation. After about 10 minutes, Goode was helped to the sideline and then soon carted off the field.
“It’s going to be a day-to-day thing, being a high hamstring [injury],” Golden Flashes coach Darrell Hazell said. “He was jumping for a ball. What worries you the most is that hamstring injuries for wide receivers typically aren’t good. Especially if you get it really good, it’s going to take a few weeks.”
Hazell, a receivers coach at Ohio State for seven years before coming to KSU, understands injuries are a part of the game. Still, it is tough to absorb injuries at a position that is already thin.
“You hate to see any of those players who’ve worked so hard for so many months go down, but he’s a tough kid and will work to get back as quickly as he can,” Hazell said. “He’ll still be a leader for us; he just won’t be able to do it on the field for a little bit.”
If there was somewhat of a silver lining in losing the 6-foot, 180-pound Goode on Saturday afternoon, it was the fact that the Flashes are just two days into preseason practice.
“At least it’s early,” said Hazell, whose team opens the season Aug. 30 against Towson.
The Flashes aren’t deep in playmakers at receiver. Goode was considered the team’s top receiver. Now, KSU needs fifth-year senior Eric Adeyemi to step up while Goode is sidelined.
“Adeyemi’s the next wide out at the ‘Z’ position and we’ve got some young guys working through the position,” Hazell said. “With some of the other guys, we’ll talk as a staff and see if we need to move someone around. But right now, it looks like Eric, and he’s had two good days so far. So hopefully, he can continue.”
Adeyemi transferred to Kent State from the University of Kentucky program but didn’t show the ability to be a consistent target on offense last year as a junior, contributing mostly on special teams.
Adeyemi played in eight games (six starts) and caught five passes for 42 yards. He did contribute 406 yards in kick returns and 62 yards on punt returns.
“On offense, he’s been an enigma,” Hazell said. “Hopefully, he sees the light and becomes very productive on a consistent basis.”
It’s hard to imagine a toe injury slowing down a tough guy like junior defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix.
But turf toe is a painful injury, one that ended the career of former KSU star and NFL hall of famer Jack Lambert.
After being named the Mid-American Conference’s Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year for his freshman season in 2010, Nix injured his right big toe in preseason camp and it hampered him throughout last season.
“At best, he was 70 percent last year,” Hazell said. “The thing he missed the most was all the practice. He was just a sophomore last year and there was so much to learn technically on the field [under a first-year coaching staff].”
Because the Flashes needed their top defensive playmaker on game days, Nix usually practiced only one day during the week.
“We needed Rosie on Saturdays, so he didn’t practice very much throughout the week, usually only on Thursdays basically,” Hazell said. “Turf toe, that’s a bad injury. Rest is the only thing that really helps it get better. So now, he’s out there working on his technique and getting even better.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Kent State blog at www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.