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Day likely will miss rest of Bulldogs' spring practice

 

Matthew Stevens

 

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State center Dillon Day likely will miss the rest of the football team's spring practice.  

 

Day injured his left arm late in Thursday's practice and didn't participate in the team's scrimmage Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium. Day watched the scrimmage from the sidelines with his arm wrapped and in a sling. 

 

After the scrimmage, MSU coach Dan Mullen confirmed he didn't expect Day to be cleared for physical contact until fall camp begins in August. He likely won't dress out for the 2014 Maroon-White spring game at noon Saturday.  

 

"He'll be fine, but I'm sure he won't do much the rest of the spring," Mullen said. "The trickle-down effect of the lineman is always interesting because that's a position we've got to stay healthy at this season. It's our youngest position, and young guys are getting opportunities there that they wouldn't normally get."  

 

Mullen said Day's injury isn't expected to be a long-term concern and that the senior should be able to participate in fall practice in August. 

 

Offensive guards Justin Malone and Jocquell Johnson also didn't participate in the scrimmage. The injuries have forced MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy to mix his lineman with the first-team unit. MSU had senior Ben Beckwith at center and Devon Desper at guard to replace Day and Malone. The offensive line struggled with the run game and with shotgun snaps in the scrimmage. Josh Robinson led all ball carriers with 46 yards on 13 carries. 

 

"We don't need to rush or force anything," Mullen said.  

 

MSU is trying to find a replacement for Gabe Jackson at left guard, but it has the remainder of its starting offensive line intact for this season. Throughout the spring, Blaine Clausell and Damien Robinson have played at tackle, Day has anchored center, and Beckwith and Jamaal Clayborn have played guard.  

 

Earlier in spring practice, Hevesy refused to say who would start at guard besides Day. Hevesy is trying to rotate Malone back into the mix after he missed most of last season with an undisclosed injury. 

 

"What I'm trying to do is get myself used to contact and just get myself back in the mind-set of competing at the highest level with the offensive lineman," Malone said. 

 

Day was named to the 2013 preseason Rimington Trophy Watch List, which recognizes the nation's top center. It was his second-consecutive season he was named to the list. He is expected to be on the preseason list in the fall. Day has started at center for the past 34 games.  

 

Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.

 

 

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