USC WR Marqise Lee (knee) probable for Oregon State

Marqise Lee is at back at practice this week and probable for Oregon State. (USATSI)
Marqise Lee is at back at practice this week and probable for Oregon State. (USATSI)

USC's passing attack could get a much-needed boost this week with the return of wide receiver Marqise Lee and tight end Xavier Grimble

After both players participated in practice on Wednesday, interim coach Ed Orgeron told reporters that Lee and Grimble are probable for Friday night's game at Oregon State. 

The Trojans sit one game away from bowl eligibility at 5-3 after riding their defense to a 19-3 win against Utah last week. The team was down to less than 50 healthy scholarship players, then matters got worse with first half injuries to right tackle Kevin Graf and star freshman defensive back Su'a Cravens.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Orgergon admitted that seeing two of the top offensive targets back in practice brightens his mood.

"It brightens mine," Orgeron said. "I didn't ask them if it brightens theirs, but it sure brightens mine."

Lee's 2013 campaign has not been what many of us expected, due mostly to the team's offensive struggles early and several nagging injury issues. After suffering a shoulder injury in training camp, Lee suffered a knee injury on Sept. 28 against Arizona State then re-aggravated that same injury against Notre Dame. In total, this injury has limited the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winer for all or part of the last five games.

The injuries haven't been the only issue. Changes on the coaching staff and at the quarterback position have not helped either.

"It's kind of tough, two years being with one quarterback and having to switch to another, but we're just working," Lee told's Jeremy Fowler. "Cody's doing an amazing job and becoming a great leader. I look up to him actually, redshirt freshman coming in and doing what he has to do."

Still, Lee leads team with 32 catches and his 403 receiving yards trail only fellow starter Nelson Agholor (30 catches, 539 yards). 

Grimble is expected to return to the starting lineup after suffering an ankle injury against Notre Dame. The junior, if healthy, would be the only scholarship tight end available. Against Utah the Trojans turned to walk-on tight end Chris Wilson, a former pitcher at Wake Forest. 

Grimble leads all USC tight ends with 10 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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