Injuries mount for offensive line

The Trojans have not tackled in weeks in the hope of preventing injuries. Well, so much for that idea.

Backup center Abe Markowitz hurt his foot Sunday during light workouts and will likely miss four weeks. Markowitz, a redshirt sophomore from Hawaii, was listed as the second center on the depth chart behind senior Kristofer O’Dowd.

Junior Michael Reardon, who is currently listed as a reserve at right guard, could move to the center spot. But Reardon sat out of Sunday’s scrimmage because of hip soreness.

The USC offensive line already lacks depth, so every injury hurts that much more. Multiple linemen have missed practice time because of ailments. Right guard Khaled Holmes sat out time last week because of a neck injury and left tackle Matt Kalil has battled a hamstring strain. Both Holmes and Kalil are still expected to start Thursday night against Hawaii, however.

With Matt Barkley, Allen Bradford and Marc Tyler in the backfield, USC returns lots of experience at quarterback and running back. But that is going to matter little if the offensive line can’t stay healthy.

And once the actual full-contact hits start coming Thursday night, staying healthy might be one of USC’s biggest challenges.