Last year was the definition of a rough year for the Syracuse Orange offensive line as a unit. Injuries ravaged the squad and left it walking wounded to the point that a fullback started at guard.
While it’s not the same path, 2021 isn’t starting out that great on this front either. It was noted that starting guard Dakota Davis wasn’t present at practice during the opening session of practice on Friday, and per Stephen Bailey of 247sports.com, Davis is now back on the sidelines, but with a walking boot on his right foot
Syracuse preseason camp Day 4 thread: Redshirt junior guard Dakota Davis has a walking boot on his right foot. Source confirmed that he has not participated in any of the practices thus far.
DB Neil Nunn, DL Steve Linton still limited after offseason knee surgeries.
— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) August 10, 2021
Davis missed the majority of last season with a lower body injury and seems to be starting off this one on the wrong foot as well (pun fully intended). His return during the last five games last season (three starts) allowed for Chris Elmore to return to his fullback position, and while Elmore wouldn’t be back on the line this year, an injury to Davis still forces Syracuse to look to its admittedly green depth chart.
Davis was anticipated to be penned in as a starting guard, along with Florida transfer Chris Bleich. The return of Davis and the eligibility of Bleich would add greatly to the diminished line from last season, and hopefully turn the team’s offensive struggles around.
If Davis is unable to go in the opener (and/or beyond), it stands to reason that the guard position is up for grabs. Likely candidates for working with the first team are redshirt junior Darius Tisdale (who started at the guard spot last season after the injury to Davis), freshman Josh Ilaoa who worked at guard and center, or redshirt sophomore Wil Froumy. Froumy, in particular, is returning from injury as well this season and looks to be working with the guards this year, too.