PROVO — BYU's thin offensive line suffered another blow during spring practice Monday.
Freshman Famika Anae sustained a possible ACL injury during 11-on-11 drills when he fell on top of another player who was already on the ground.
Cougar coach Bronco Mendenhall said after practice the ACL injury had not been confirmed. But the coach was clearly shaken by the injury to Anae, who is the son of BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae.
Famika Anae had already suffered ACL tears in both knees when he played at Timpview High.
"It makes me sick," Mendenhall said. "We already had small offensive line numbers to start spring."
Even before spring practices began a week ago, Mendenhall was concerned about the lack of depth on the offensive line due to a variety of injuries and off-season surgeries. The Cougars started out with eight linemen who were healthy enough to participate.
BYU is now down to five healthy O-linemen. Left tackle Matt Reynolds and center/guard Terence Brown were held out of practice Monday due to shoulder injuries.
CHAMBERS BACK IN ACTION: Junior wide receiver O'Neill Chambers did not practice during the first week of spring drills because he had to catch up on schoolwork.
For a couple of practices last week, he dressed and was on the field, but couldn't participate in drills. On Monday, Chambers returned to the field.
"He'll be back out here as long as his academics stay strong," Mendenhall said. "Hopefully that will be the rest of the spring."
MATTHEWS JOINS TIGHT ENDS: Freshman wide receiver Marcus Matthews played tight end Monday. Mathews, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, was taking reps with the tight ends because freshman Richard Wilson sat out of practice for an unusual reason that wasn't even his fault.
"Richard had an ecclesiastical endorsement that wasn't turned in by his bishop," Mendenhall explained. "I gave the team a deadline. He had completed it but the bishop didn't send it in. So he had to miss a day until he got it back."
Asked in jest if he will suspend the bishop, Mendenhall replied: "I'd like to. Actually, to the bishop's credit, he called and said he'd volunteer to do wind sprints in practice. I'm not sure that consoled Richard very much."
FRIENDLY VISIT: Colorado coach Dan Hawkins attended Monday's practice, which Mendenhall called "a professional visit" to BYU.
"Coach Hawkins and I have gotten to know each other through our Nike endorsement contracts," Mendenhall explained. "They had two weeks of spring practice and they're on spring break right now. He and I have formed a friendship. Our wives have formed a friendship. So it's just an exchange of ideas."
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