The injury update is positive for Florida State following a bye week at the midpoint of the 2020 season.
Tamorrion Terry missed two games following knee surgery and will likely be a “game-time decision” when the Seminoles take the field on Saturday against Pittsburgh, coach Mike Norvell said.
“I think he’s done a really good job over the last couple weeks of his rehab and continuing to push,” Norvell said. “We’re excited about how this week is going to continue to go on. I would say that he’s going to continue to be probably a game-time decision. He did get work in practice today, we’ll see where that goes as the week progresses. Obviously, tomorrow being an off day, how the week sets up, I think it could be a good week for a lot of those guys that have had a little bit more extensive injuries, give them an opportunity to get a good day of treatment tomorrow. Hopefully, they’re ready to roll out there Wednesday as we go on through the week.”
Terry missed FSU’s win over UNC and the loss at Louisville. Those two games illustrated some of the highs and lows for an inconsistent receiving corps. Against the Tar Heels, FSU’s receivers were able to make some big plays (especially downfield) and help the Seminoles turn in their best half of football in years. A week later, the receivers’ numerous drops were a frequent problem as FSU couldn’t build or sustain drives.
Despite missing the two games, as well as going without a catch at Miami, Terry still leads FSU with 21 receptions for 275 yards. He also has one touchdown, a 48-yarder at Notre Dame.
Quarterback Jordan Travis is also healing up after the cumulative hits in his last four games built up to a left shoulder/arm injury. The bye week has helped Travis get treatment and recover.
“I think it was a big-time help for him,” Norvell said. “He’s played extremely hard these last three games, four games. He’s had some bumps and bruises along the way, but has really done a good job during the week making sure he’s getting treatment and taking care of his body during a normal work week, but the bye week really allowed him to step back and have a couple more days to heal up. He’s looked really good in practice, excited about where he is and the growth for him in all aspects.”
Travis was asked about being limited as a runner in the game at Louisville and brushed off any injury concerns.
“That was last week,” Travis said. “I feel 100 percent now. So I’m not worried about limitations. I just got to get better. I feel better, so I’m not really worried about last week.”
FSU’s depth chart revealed a few updates on Monday, notably the insertion of Terry at receiver. But Norvell also has shifted Leonard Warner to the backup Fox / defensive end spot (behind Janarius Robinson). Jaleel McRae slides in as the backup middle linebacker (behind Stephen Dix. Jr.) after previously being listed on the weak side as a backup.
It’s clear the bye week gave coaches a chance to evaluate how they use players on defense.
“I think as a coach, you evaluate where guys are, how they fit into roles and responsibilities and halfway through the season, how have they performed doing those roles?” Norvell said. “I think there have been some guys that we have had earlier conversations and they maybe weren’t comfortable or weren’t willing. They didn’t see it in the same perspective as the coaches do. I don’t ever want to move somebody to a position where they don’t feel that they’re going to be able to give their all to the decision or opportunity. We’ve had some guys that we asked earlier in the year that we encouraged to move. At that time, they didn’t see it and as different examples or things have shown themselves, they’ve embraced that. I think we’ve had some good moves even this past week.”
Norvell said he likes using Warner off the edge, playing the linebacker closer to the line of scrimmage.
“I think was something that was positive for him,” Norvell said. “Even having this bye week, getting another week under his belt doing that, I think that’s definitely going to be a productive move for us. It also puts a bigger opportunity for guys there at the linebacker position to have to continue to elevate their game and step up. There will be a few others that we’re going to look at here for this week and go from there off those experiences.”
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett has missed the the last two games due to an ankle injury. Coach Pat Narduzzi told Pitt beat writers that Pickett is able to throw but is mostly watching as backup Joey Yellen takes the majority of snaps in practice. Yellen struggled in the 45-3 loss at home to Notre Dame, tossing three interceptions.
Safety Paris Ford, one of the top players on the Panthers’ defense, has opted out for the remainder of the 2020 season.
About that tattoo
FSU’s win over North Carolina prompted one FSU fan to ink his words. And it prompted quite the response from Norvell, too. An FSU fan, Jack Henyecz, held up a sign during the game against the Tar Heels, saying he would get a tattoo of Norvell’s infamous headshot (with cornrows) from when he played receiver at Central Arkansas, if the Seminoles pulled off the upset.
Norvell was asked about the tattoo on Monday morning and offered up an amusing response: “Great artwork, but terrible subject matter. It was pretty funny.”