Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 20, 2013

Injuries are starting to pile up for Cardinal

by Rick Eymer

Stanford senior defensive end Henry Anderson and sophomore inside linebacker Blake Martinez will likely miss up to four weeks and senior cornerback Barry Browning is doubtful for Saturday's Pac-12 Conference football opener with visiting Arizona State.

Anderson (knee) and Browning (shoulder) sustained their injuries in the Cardinal's 34-20 victory over Army on Saturday. Martinez was hurt in practice.

"Thank goodness we have some depth," Stanford coach David Shaw said Tuesday. "Josh Mauro was our defensive Player of the Game last week."

Mauro will be penciled into the starting lineup against the Sun Devils, although Shaw indicated he has always thought of Mauro as a starter.

"He's a backup for everybody," Shaw said. "He can do it all. We rotate him in for everybody."

Shaw said Anderson's injury was "kind of weird," and was nothing out of the ordinary. He seemed to come down wrong.

"We lose depth, experience and size," Shaw said. "It's losing one more big guy. We're getting other guys ready and expect them to help out."

Included among those expected to help is sophomore defensive tackle Ikenna Nwafor, who matches Anderson is size and weight.

"We're starting to see the quickness he showed in high school," Shaw said. "It's just getting used to playing college football. He has a bright future. He's fast, explosive, relentless and great with his hands."

* * *

Senior fullback Ryan Hewitt was slated to participate in most of Tuesday's practice and all of Wednesday's practice before a decision is made on his availability for this week's contest.

"He says he feels great and he hasn't said that in a month," Shaw said.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan did not throw to a fullback or tight end all day against the Black Knights.

Hogan included Hewitt quite a bit in the offense when he took over as the starter last year.

"He's a play maker and great in the running game," Hogan said. "He can get out in the flat and catch passes too. He adds another dimension to our offense."

Hewitt caught 50 passes for 421 yards and six touchdowns during his first three years. He added a rushing touchdown last year. He was limited to one catch for three yards in the victory over San Jose State two weeks ago.

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