Health monitored in final third of season
Seven games into the season, Louisville football has reached the point when its roster won’t be completely healthy. The Cardinals haven’t suffered any major injuries this year besides the season-ending surgery for quarterback Jawon Pass, but the physicality of a 12-game schedule does wear down a team.
“Every team in the country is probably beat up a little bit to a certain extent, and we’re no different,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “When I say ‘beat up,’ you’re not 100 percent. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to play. We have several guys on defense who are coming to work and practicing every day, but they’re dinged. They’ve got bruises and they’re probably not 100 percent, but they’re practicing and they’re pushing through it. That’s football.”
Satterfield plans to uses younger players on special teams to prevent starters on offense and defense from becoming too taxed. He expects more players to appear in games to help depth.
Louisville is benefited from a schedule that includes bye weeks after every four games. After hosting Virginia at Cardinal Stadium Oct. 26, the Cardinals will have a bye week the following Saturday, Nov. 2.
During preparation for the final four games of the regular season, which include Miami, NC State, Syracuse and Kentucky, Louisville save some of its hits in practice for gamedays.
“You’ll probably cut back a little bit in practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, maybe even take shoulder pads off one of those days,” Satterfield said. “When you get to this point in the season, you’ve played so physical that you don’t need to bang in practice.”
Satterfield said practices become more mental to keep players fresh in practice.