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Lobos Sort Out Injuries

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lineman Ulale hurting, RB Carrier healing

For the University of New Mexico football team’s walking wounded, Monday is do-what-you-can day.

From there, head coach Mike Locksley, his assistants and UNM’s athletic training and medical staff determine who can play on Saturday – in this case, against Sam Houston State – and who can’t.

One Lobo who almost certainly won’t play is backup defensive tackle Fatu Ulale, who suffered what’s believed to be a torn medial collateral ligament during last Saturday’s 59-13 loss to Texas Tech.

Sam Houston State at UNM, 4 p.m.
Radio: KKOB-AM (770)

“We haven’t confirmed it,” Locksley said. “It takes us, usually, a day-and-a-half to get the MRI done.”

But Locksley held out hope Ulale could return sooner than later.

“We could get the MRI back and find out it’s just a partial tear,” Locksley said. “Then it’s just a matter of getting the strength back.”

Senior offensive guard Mike Muñiz, who missed most of the second half against Texas Tech, had his left ankle heavily taped and sat out most of Monday’s practice.

“Actually, it’s both ankles,” Locksley said. “But he’ll be back. We’ll do things to help him get through it.”

Locksley said he was hopeful junior running back Kasey Carrier would be available for Saturday after missing two games with a torn meniscus. Carrier practiced Monday, but wore a yellow, no-contact jersey.

Sophomore running back Demarcus Rogers suffered a knee injury on Sept. 10 during the Lobos’ 52-3 loss at Arkansas.

“Today was do-what-you-can day with (Carrier) and Demarcus,” Locksley said. “We’ll see how their knees respond with having done some running and cutting.

“If they feel good, we’ll gradually in increase their load, but it’s still early. It’s probably a game-time decision.”

HATTON’S ARREST: Locksley said he’s treating the arrest of football strength-and-conditioning coach Troy Hatton as he would any legal matter involving one of his players or staff members.

Hatton was placed on administrative leave after his early Friday morning arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

“It’s an HR (human resources) deal now,” Locksley said. “… We’ll let it run its course through the legal system and make decisions based on those things.

According to a criminal complaint, Hatton, 36, was arrested while driving erratically on Academy northeast just west of Eubank, a few minutes after 2 a.m. on Friday. He was charged with aggravated DWI and speeding, having been clocked at 52 mph in a 40-mph zone.

According to the complaint, Hatton’s breath-alcohol content was measured at twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

BELL PLAYS WELL: Former Lobo Byron Bell, a rookie offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers, more than held his own on Sunday in his first NFL start.

Bell was called upon to block Green Bay Packers all-pro linebacker Clay Matthews in pass protection. Matthews finished the game with four solo tackles and one sack, but Bell was blocking another Packer player when Matthews got the sack.

The Panthers lost 30-23.

“I think I played well but not great because obviously we didn’t win,” Bell was quoted as saying afterward. “… (Matthews) is a really good pass rusher. My job is to stay in front of him and move my feet, which I think I did pretty good.”

BEARKATS HONORED: Sam Houston State players Richard Sincere and Darnell Taylor were named the Southland Conference offensive and defensive players of the week for their performances in the Bearkats’ 31-10 victory over Central Arkansas last week.

Sincere, a sophomore wide receiver from Galveston, Texas, caught seven passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, was in on a team-high 11 tackles with one tackle for loss.
SaturdaySam Houston State at UNM, 4 p.m.Radio: KKOB-AM (770)Lobos Sort Injuries

— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal