When Mississippi State takes on Louisville in Monday's Music City Bowl, it will likely be without quarterback Garrett Shrader. Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead confirmed to media members on Thursday that Shrader is "doubtful to out" with an "upper body injury."
While Moorhead wouldn't specify what that "upper body injury" was, Brad Logan of the Clarion-Ledger and Hattiesburg American reports that Shrader has a broken orbital bone he suffered following an alleged altercation with linebacker Willie Gay.
247Sports reports that Shrader and a defensive player, who was not named, got into a "confrontation stemming from an in-practice contact drill. Their post-practice altercation escalated before other Bulldogs separated them." The report went on to say that Shrader's swollen eye "revealed some orbital bone damage," but that surgery may not be required until January.
Neither Shrader nor Gay have been officially suspended for the bowl game, where the Bulldogs are seen as 4.5-point favorites with a total for the game hovering around 63 points.
Tommy Stevens will start in Shrader's place against the Cardinals. Stevens, a senior transfer from Penn State where Moorhead was previously the offensive coordinator, started eight games for Mississippi State this season while Shrader started the other four. Stevens finished the regular season with 934 yards passing, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.