USC Injury Report
Here's the status on several Trojans heading into Saturday's game versus UCLA.
- Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns (ankle) practiced all week after only playing six snaps in USC's win over Cal. Vaughns said his usage was limited so that he'd be 100 percent for the UCLA game.
- Tailback Vavae Malepeai (knee), who’s missed the past five games, increased his workload in practice this week. Coach Clay Helton said he’ll likely play Saturday.
- Linebacker Palaie Gaoteote (ankle, knee), who's missed the past two games, is a "longshot" to play. Kana’i Mauga has been starting in his absence at weakside linebacker.
- Kickoff returner/wide receiver Velus Jones (ankle) will not play Saturday. Running back Kenan Christon and cornerback Adonis Otey have been taking kickoff return reps alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown. Helton said Jones' absence also means freshman wide receiver Kyle Ford will back up Michael Pittman.
- Defensive back Chase Williams (foot) has not practiced this week and is expected to be out multiple weeks.
- Running back Markese Stepp (ankle) could return in time for the Pac-12 title game should USC make it, Helton confirmed. If not, he'll be available for the bowl game.
- Center Brett Neilon (calf) remains out.
- Linebacker Hunter Echols underwent surgery over the weekend for a torn labrum in his shoulder. Helton said he's expected to be out six months.
- Nickelback Max Williams (foot) will miss the remainder of the season.
-- Adam Maya is a USC graduate and has been covering the Trojans since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJMaya.