Utah State fans can only hope that the injury to Chuckie Keeton is minor and the reason he did not return for the second half of Saturday night's win over Wake Forest was for precautionary reasons. Keeton started shaky with an errant throw that led to a pick-six, but after that he tightened up his game and was moving Utah State down the field. When Keeton left the game the Aggies were in good shape with a 29-7 lead.
There was a play at the end of the half where Keeton went down but came up slow after falling to the ground, and relatively untouched. The announcers picked up on that quickly and mentioned Keeton's torn ACL which he suffered last season.
Here is the play in question that likely forced Keeton to spend the second half in street clothes:
Keeton had crutches at one point but he tossed those aside but did have a limp according to Jeremiah Jensen of KSL:
Chuckie is back on the sideline with a noticeable limp but he’s not currently using the crutches pic.twitter.com/v8fNRF6NO8— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) September 14, 2014
The severity of the injury is unknown but head coach Matt Wells confirmed it was the same left knee that Keeton tore up last season. More info on the injury would be known on Sunday once doctors were able to get a closer look at the knee.
Luckily for Utah State they have Darrell Garretson at quarterback and he did an admirable job of filling in for Keeton last year and led the Aggies to the Mountain West title game and a bowl win. Wells is not too concerned about a drop in production if Garretson is the quarterback for any significant amount of time.
"(He) has got a lot of Moxie. Our players will rally around him if he's the guy going forward," said Wells in his post media season. Wells also commented that the offense would not change much, if at all with Garretson at quarterback. That should not come too much of a shock since Garretson is a similar type of quarterback as Keeton, and nothing changed last year with Garretson running the offense.
It would be a shame for Keeton's senior season to end on a non-contact play.