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Injuries a growing concern for Saturday

Starting safety Emmett Merchant could miss Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech after he suffered a concussion four days ago in Navy's 13-7 victory over Georgia Southern. Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo called Merchant "probably questionable" after today's practice.

Merchant's status is especially important this week because the Midshipmen will be facing a spread offense that frequently uses multiple wide receivers. Merchant, a senior, has been among the team's most dependable defensive backs, and his absence would force the Midshipmen to move starting cornerback Kwesi Mitchell to his spot and have either De'Von Richardson or David Wright play corner.

Wright worked with the first-team defense toward the end of today's practice and played against Georgia Southern.

"We've got two guys who've been working [at corner] all season long," defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. "If Emmett can't go, one of those guys will be ready to go."

On offense, Navy probably will be without starting right tackle Matt Molloy for a second straight game. Molloy had a concussion in the second half of a season-opening loss to Maryland, 17-14, on Sept. 6.

With Molloy out of the lineup last week, Navy managed 109 rushing yards, the fewest since 2002. The Midshipmen also continued to have problems scoring touchdowns from close-in. In two games, Navy has reached the end zone three times on 10 trips inside the 20-yard line, including going 1 for 3 against Georgia Southern.

In addition to Molloy's absence, part of that inefficiency is attributable to an injury to quarterback Ricky Dobbs. The senior hurt his ankle in the season opener and tweaked it this past Saturday. Dobbs was wearing a protective brace around his right ankle today and has not practiced fully this week.

By Gene Wang  | September 14, 2010; 10:00 PM ET
Categories:  Emmett Merchant, Matt Molloy, Ricky Dobbs  
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