Eye on the Y: The injury bug is bouncing around the Cougar football and men’s basketball teams

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) as Brigham Young University (BYU) hosts the University of Utah, NCAA football in Provo on Thursday Aug. 29, 2019.

Provo • Y’all, it’s been a crazy last few days.

It seems that the injury bug is still going around, affecting football and men’s basketball in a major way.

After the Cougars’ football loss at Toledo, Micah Simon said the team’s main priority during the bye week would be to simply get healthy. Three days after the road game, it was confirmed that quarterback Zach Wilson had surgery on his right (throwing) hand and will be out 6-8 weeks.

That’s the latest blow to a team that lost starting running back Ty’Son Williams a week prior against Washington and linebacker Zayne Anderson to season-ending injuries. Williams tore his ACL, while Anderson’s shoulder still wasn’t up to par and required another surgery.

And those are just the big ones.

The Cougars are five games into the season, so they are dealing with the usual wear and tear and nursing those bumps and bruises.

But Cougar football team is not the only one dealing with injuries. The men’s basketball team is riddled with them – and their season hasn’t even started.

Gavin Baxter suffered a possible season-ending shoulder injury last week during practice. Senior TJ Haws is currently out after undergoing minor knee surgery and senior Zac Seljaas is out with a broken foot, suffered in August during the team’s tour of Italy and underwent surgery.

Both Haws and Seljaas should be available for the season opener Nov. 5 against CS Fullerton, but Yoeli Childs won’t. The 6-foot-8 senior forward was suspended for the first nine games of the season by the NCAA after a foul-up over his paperwork in returning to BYU after declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

If the season were starting this week, the roster would be scarily thin.

More BYU football coverage

• Toledo got even, beating the Cougars 28-21 in the Glass Bowl. Here’s some extra analysis

• BYU has a couple weeks to prepare for South Florida

• QB Zach Wilson had surgery Tuesday morning

• The Trib’s Gordon Monson is impressed by the LDS congregations-turned-fans at BYU’s road games.

Other voices

• The Deseret News’ Jay Drew featured Dax Milne.

• The Daily Herald’s Darnell Dickson talks about what’s needed to turn the program around.

• Yahoo Sports’ Pat Ford called Kalani Sitake an unimaginative hire gone wrong, and former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, now at Virginia, a questionable hire gone right.

Around campus

• BYU’s cross country runner Conner Mantz was named National Athlete of the Week by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday. Mantz finished the 8K race in 23 minutes and 24.7 seconds, tying his personal record at the distance from the West Coast Conference Championship last year, on his way to winning the individual meet title for the Cougars at the Bill Dellinger Invitational last Saturday in Springfield, Ore.

• Mantz and Whittni Orton were named as the men’s and women’s Runners of the Week Tuesday by the West Coast Conference. This was Mantz’s second-straight WCC Runner of the Week honor of the season. Orton won the women’s 6K with a career-best time of 19 seconds and 25.8 seconds. The performance sealed a best individual meet title and led the Cougars to a first-place team finish, with 35 points.

• BYU women’s volleyball All-American Mary Lake was named a candidate for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible, student athletes must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and be placed on an official ballot that will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The winner will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.