August 17, 2008

Taylor suffers injury

Although Joe Tiller had little to say afterward, it appeared evident Sunday that senior running back Jaycen Taylor had suffered a significant leg injury during practice.

Based on observations in the final minutes of Purdue's workout, when Taylor limped around the practice field with an air cast on his lower right leg while being consoled by teammates and coaches, the injury appears to be severe enough to keep him out for the season. Taylor does have a redshirt year available.

"We'll see what it is," said Tiller following a solemn practice, after which players quietly exited Mollenkopf's indoor field to their locker room. "I don't know what it is, but we'll find out.

"Yes, he's injured."

Taylor's loss would significantly thin the Boilermaker backfield, leaving fellow senior Kory Sheets as a the primary ball-carrier and sophomore Dan Dierking, who saw limited action as a true freshman, likely as the first off the bench. Only one other, full back Frank Halliburton, has significant experience.

Although Taylor missed four games with a broken arm last season, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was second on the team in rushing, with 560 yards on 107 carries and four touchdowns.

Aside from his statistics, though, Taylor was seen as an emotional leader for the Boilermakers; defensive coordinator Brock Spack often calls him Purdue's best football player. In the four games Taylor missed last season, the Boilermakers went 2-2, losing to Ohio State and Michigan in back-to-back weekends. In those losses, Purdue rushed for only 43 yards on 29 carries.

As a sophomore in 2006, Taylor rushed for 677 yards on 113 carries, with four touchdowns.


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