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This morning's practice was the first practice session open to the public, and when the fans saw J.J. DiLuigi hobbling out on crutches, I'm sure they suspected the news was not good--and it wasn't.


During Saturday's scrimmage, DiLuigi re-fractured the foot he injured in the offseason. Now, the question is repair through surgery, or treatment through orthotics. If the surgery route is required (the most likely decision), DiLuigi is looking at about 8-10 weeks of recovery, meaning a redshirt season would be in order.


With the orthotics route, there is a chance he could return sooner and keep his season alive, but right now, common sense would seem to indiciate DiLuigi's playing season is in distinct jeopardy.


The other main personnel development of note was the switch of offensive lineman Garrett Reden from the O-line to nose tackle. With Russell Tialavea gone for the season (torn ACL and MCL), the nose position is thin, and Reden will be given until Wednesday to show if he can learn the position and contribute. Bronco told me they will only make the move if Reden will see more reps on the defensive line than he would have on the offensive line (and Reden was taking a significant number of reps with the first-string O-line to begin with).


I will never gain employment as a carnival weight-guesser. I estimated 300-400 fans observing practice today. BYU tells me the total was 928. I'll stick to the action on the field from now on.


Players missing this morning's practice due to injury (other than DiLuigi and Tialavea):

-WR Michael Reed (hamstring)

-WR Saia Hafoka (knee)

-CB Kayle Buchanan (hurt his shoulder Saturday--minor)

-WR Ryan Neeley (groin)

-OL Dallas Reynolds (hamstring)

-S Kellen Fowler (hip flexor)

-DL Judd Anderton (sore shoulder)

-LB Kelly Bills (concussion)

Positive news on the injury front: WR Bryce Mahuika (knee) was back in pads and practicing at full speed, and QB Brenden Gaskins was allowed to throw short routes and swing passes. He is playing with a basic splint on his broken finger, and will switch to a more operational splint in about two weeks, assuming his recovery continues on pace.


With DiLuigi out, players in the punt return rotation were Collie, Mahuika, Ryan Kessman, Cortny Barton, Jordan Smith and Reed White.


Bryce Mahuika joined Matt Allen in taking snaps as a holder for place kicks--it would appear Sam Doman will have to be content as the 5th string quarterback.


Speaking of Mahuika, while he was going full speed today, he was doing so with a brace on his right knee--he sprained the MCL late last week.


A scout for the Washington Redskins was on hand today.


Dennis Pitta made a spectacular catch in the 7-on-7 "Skelly" drill midway through practice. The ball down the seam was high above his head, but he went up between two defenders, made the catch, took a substantial hit, and came down with the ball. Afterward, Austin Collie (no slouch himself), called the catch "pure luck." If BYU can keep those two guys on the field together as often as possible, Max Hall can always feel good about the chances of a completion, should the ball go their way.


Although injured, Kayle Buchanan did enter the practice field in full pads late in the session. He did not take part, but said he's going to be fine. CB Brandon Howard moved up from the "twos" to take Buchanan's spot.


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