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What Players Can Vanderbilt Least Afford to Lose to Injury?

Injuries have already hamstrung the Vanderbilt with starters Andrew Jelks and C.J. Duncan out for the season and others like Emmanuel Smith, Latevious Rayford and DeAndre Woods injured at various points over the first three games. Who are the guys the Commodores can least afford to lose for an extended period of time if they want to return to relevance in 2015?

Sunday - Friday this man should be stored in a protective bubble.
Sunday - Friday this man should be stored in a protective bubble.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With the first quarter of the season under their belt, the Dores find themselves slightly bruised.  It looks as though we lost Harding Harper for an extended period of time already.  We are waiting to hear on the injuries to Steven Scheu, Emmanuel Smith, Rayford and DeAndre Woods.

As we look ahead to the Ole Miss game and beyond, who would the team have a difficult time replacing should they go down for more than one week?

Christian D'Andrea

1. Ralph Webb. Webb has underwhelmed in 2015, but his backup, Dallas Rivers, hasn't shown any significant growth after playing as a true freshman last fall.

2. Spencer Pulley. Vanderbilt's offensive line is already struggling after losing their two best players from 2014 - Jelks and the now-graduated Joe Townsend.

3. Nigel Bowden.

4. Torren McGaster.

5. Trent Sherfield. Sherfield proved to be one of the team's most effective weapons and now sits atop the Vandy record book for most receiving yards in a single game. Yeah, we need him.


1.  Nigel Bowden - even with the concussion protocol preventing Nigel from playing this past week, losing him for an extended period of time would significantly hinder our talented defense in communication and on field adjustments.

2.  J-Mac - during mop up duties last week, it was obvious that while Wade Freebeck had a great arm, McCrary is still well ahead of him when it comes to decision making (which makes the 6 INTs all the more concerning).

3. Trent Sherfield - After exploding for a record setting performance, Sherfield has proven himself to be a legit #1.  To think what could have been if CJ had been healthy...

4.  Anyone on the O-Line. - At this point, losing anyone from the O-Line would be a bad thing. While they have woefully under performed, depth is already an issue and could become dire if another player were to go down.

5.  Tommy Openshaw - seriously - Openshaw has shown a booming leg on punts and has been very accurate on his FG and XPT attempts.  Losing him would hurt our specials teams significantly.

Any long term injury to the team could spell doom but who else should be considered critical for the team to see measured success in 2015?