USC’s Michael Trigg appears to avoid serious injury; timetable for return isn’t clear

USC tight end Michael Trigg blocks against Colorado on Oct. 2.
USC tight end Michael Trigg blocks against Colorado on Oct. 2. Trigg is dealing with a “lower-leg injury” he sustained in Saturday’s loss to Utah.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

As standout USC tight end Michael Trigg lay on the Coliseum turf, clutching his knee and writhing in pain Saturday night, his prognosis didn’t appear promising. Even interim coach Donte Williams acknowledged it looked bad.

Fortunately for the Trojans and their talented freshman, Trigg appears to have avoided a significant injury to his knee during the 42-26 loss to Utah. But after sustaining what Williams termed “a lower-leg injury,” it might be a while before the tight end plays again.

“They did an MRI, but they’ve got to do another one,” Williams said. “So, I mean, it’s nothing that’s broken, it’s not an ACL — that I do know — so until all the test results come back, for me to just tell you guys something, once again I’d be lying. I don’t expect him to be back right away, that’s for darn sure.”

USC swimming and diving coach Jeremy Kipp has been put on administrative leave amid concerns about abusive treatment of athletes within the program.

Oct. 10, 2021

Trigg was just beginning to find his stride in recent weeks, catching three passes against Oregon State and then making an acrobatic, jump-ball touchdown grab against Colorado. But a helmet directly to the knee against Utah will delay any further progress.


“It was a bang-bang play,” Williams said. “Kedon [Slovis] threw the pass, he caught the pass, and the guy came in pretty low on him. His foot was already in the ground, and he came kind of low, and I mean, it looked bad from my vantage point. You hope for the best, but you always have to expect the worst. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t an ACL or nothing like that. I mean, that’s a kid that’s put so much into the particular game that at that moment in time, it was a shock to his system.”

USC could use a shock to its own system over the next week as it enters the bye 3-3, with its prospects of competing in the Pac-12 looking bleak. Williams said he expects to give more young players opportunities, starting with a scrimmage of all young players Thursday.

“They were thrown into the fire in fall camp,” Williams said of the Trojans’ young players. “You ask freshmen to play, but at the same time, how many of these freshmen started on their ninth-grade high school team on varsity? That’s pretty much what it is.”

Trigg was talented enough to emerge despite those limitations. But without him, USC finds itself short on impact freshmen moving forward.

Another Pac-12 opponent rolled over USC in the Coliseum, this time Utah and quarterback Cameron Rising, a Newbury Park High product.

Oct. 10, 2021