Posted by Chip Patterson
Florida State has been plagued by injuries at nearly every position during the Seminoles' 2-3 start to the season. Among the on-field struggles have included the inability to get a consistent rushing game going. The offensive backfield took a hit on Saturday when starting running back Chris Thompson suffered a back injury in the 35-30 loss to Wake Forest.
The Orlando Sentinel reports Thompson suffered compression fractures of his T-5 and T-6 vertebrae. The Seminoles' leading rusher was hit hard on a routine short run to the right, and struggled to get himself off the ground. He was tended to by the on-site medial staff and left the field on a cart. For those not familiar with vertebrae vocabulary, head coach Jimbo Fisher simplified the injury.
"He's going to be staying [in Winston-Salem] for further evaluations for a day or two so they can stabilize it and see how we're going to move him and what we're going to do," Fisher explained. "But… he broke his back."
Florida State's lack of a rushing attack has been one of the most frustrating on-field anomalies for Seminole fans. A deep stable of running backs all returned this season (albeit with some health concerns) after leading the fourth-best rushing attack in the conference in 2010. Through five games the Seminoles are dead last in the ACC, averaging just over 85 yards per game on the ground.
It does not take long to identify reasons for the sputtering running game. Florida State has not had an entirely healthy five-man offensive line unit since the beginning of training camp. Someone is either getting hurt, or slowly working their way back into the lineup nearly every week. For example, starting offensive tackle Andrew Datko has been questionable nearly all season due to a shoulder injury. Since he was not cleared to play against Wake Forest, 17-year old true freshman Bobby Hart was called on for his first career start.
Florida State will travel back to North Carolina to face Duke this weekend, hoping to climb back to .500 and end the three-game losing streak.
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