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BYU football: Fracture in neck ends tight end Devin Mahina's season

Published September 1, 2011 8:40 am

BYU notes • He had practiced for the past 10 days with the injury after a collision in scrimmage.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • A few weeks ago, tight end was considered one of the deeper positions on the BYU football team. That's no longer the case.

Sophomore tight end Devin Mahina has a small fracture in his neck, doctors discovered Tuesday morning after a CT scan, and is out for the season.

Remarkably, Mahina had practiced the past 10 days with the break in his neck after a collision during a scrimmage, coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

But the native of Upland, Calif., was not responding to treatment, so X-rays were performed Monday. One of the seven views revealed the small fracture, and the CT scan confirmed it.

"Imagine having a fracture in your neck and hitting guys for two weeks," marveled offensive coordinator Brandon Doman.

Head trainer Kevin Morris said Mahina will see a neck specialist in the next day or two and it will be determined then whether surgery is required.

He couldn't say whether it is the type of injury from which a player can fully recover and return to the playing field.

Other injuries

Kicker Justin Sorensen still hasn't returned to practice fully after suffering a lower back strain last week. Sorensen was cleared to kick Tuesday, but coaches decided to give him another day of rest. Morris said the sophomore from Bingham High suffered the back strain while attempting to put on his shoes. Earlier in camp, the kicker, who owns more than a dozen unicycles, and often rides them around Provo, had a mishap in the weight room that required 17 stitches to his forehead and upper lip and kept him from wearing a helmet at practice for nearly a week.

Morris said freshman offensive lineman Ryker Mathews, who was in a walking boot during practice, is suffering from a case of turf toe, but should be good to go Saturday.

Fullback Zed Mendenhall continues to be hampered by a sprained left ankle. Morris said the senior is day-to-day and will be a game-time decision on Saturday.

Personnel issues

Thomas Bryson, the defensive end from Layton High, didn't quite make it academically in his quest to rejoin the team the first day of classes and now will not be readmitted into BYU until January, at the earliest.

Defensive end Matt Putnam was readmitted into school and will rejoin the team if and when he gets NCAA clearance regarding eligibility for his senior year, Mendenhall said.

Safety Kori Gaines is back in school after some academic struggles, and will be considered a walk-on this fall. He will be a part of the scout team.

Briefly

Asked during his weekly teleconference Tuesday which defensive players have progressed the most in the preseason, Mendenhall pointed out sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy. He also said safety Daniel Sorensen and cornerback Preston Hadley could be a couple of players worth keeping an eye on. … Former BYU quarterback Max Hall, who was waived by the Arizona Cardinals last week, will need surgery on his injured left shoulder. The diagnosis means Hall will be placed on injured reserve the rest of the season.

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay —

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