Contact in practices to decrease with injuries, approaching season opener

As the injury list continues to grow, the numbers of days separating Syracuse from its season opener against Penn State on Aug. 31 continues to shrink.

Kicker Ross Krautman and offensive lineman Kyle Knapp were the biggest names unable to play Monday. So 12 days before Week One, head coach Scott Shafer said the somewhat hobbled Orange will taper off the contact later this week.

“We’ve had a lot of bumps and bruises and some headaches and situations like that, but not a lot of major, major injuries which I’m pleased with,” Shafer said. “I’m just knocking on wood that we can finish out this week.”

Shafer said that Tuesday and Wednesday’s sessions will mimic in-season Tuesdays and Wednesdays. “The hardest days of the week,” he called them. Then Thursday and Friday will focus on mock in-game simulations, breaking down the possible outcomes of each play.

Krautman, who is sidelined with a slight groin strain, and defensive end Tyler Marona were absent from practice Monday. Knapp missed all of last week’s practices in Fort Drum, N.Y.

Wide receiver Corey Winfield and defensive back Josh Mims were at practice, but didn’t wear pads and didn’t participate in drills. Linebackers Oliver Vigille and Josh Kirkland, who has now missed more than a week, were also both at practice but not in pads.

Walk-on wide receiver Franklin Santos and walk-on defensive back Joe Stanard both were not at practice.

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