A pair of receivers are on the mend as the Texas Tech football team inches closer to the 2023 season.
Following the team’s first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday, head coach Joey McGuire updated the injury status of several Red Raiders. Chief among the updates were receivers Coy Eakin and Nehemiah Martinez.
Eakin has been out of action with what McGuire described as a cracked left collarbone. In the spring, Eakin broke his right collarbone.
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“It’s nowhere close to his other one, or (Tyler) Shough’s,” McGuire said of Eakin’s latest injury.
McGuire said the injury occurred when Eakin went up for a pass and came down on his shoulder, something he’d done plenty of times before. This one just happened to result in an injury.
Eakin’s timeline for a return is projected for either the Sept. 16 home game against Tarleton State or the Big 12 opener at West Virginia Sept. 23.
Martinez is expected back a bit sooner, perhaps even for the Sept. 2 opener at Wyoming. McGuire dispelled rumors about Martinez potentially having a more severe injury than the facial injuries he sustained in an on-field altercation with a teammate.
“He doesn’t have any kind of a break or anything like that,” McGuire said. “Just getting his vision in the one eye back, but he didn’t have to have any kind of surgery or anything like that. I know there was rumors out there that it was an orbital fracture. … but it wasn’t. Nothing was broken.”
When asked how Martinez sustained the injury, McGuire said it was, “just football.”
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“Kind of like the other day,” McGuire said, “we had a couple of them in practice to where they get excited, irritated with each other, but we feel good about him playing in Wyoming.”
A pair of key defenders who have missed some time are expected back soon.
Malik Dunlap, a returning starter at cornerback, has not been a full participant in practice through the first full week. Steve Linton, the outside linebacker who transferred from Syracuse, was seen earlier this week with his thumb wrapped and bandaged in a sling.
Dunlap, McGuire said, has been out with an ankle issue while Linton’s thumb injury isn’t considered significant. Both projected starters entering camp, they should be back for the team’s first practice of the week Tuesday.