Utah Utes football notebook: Salt breaks foot, Leota undergoes appendectomy

Published: Friday, Aug. 10 2012 5:09 p.m. MDT

Utah's Junior Salt on the opening day of the University of Utah football camp Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — After making it through Thursday's scrimmage without a serious injury, pre-existing conditions took a toll on the Utah Utes in the hours that followed.

Junior Salt, a highly touted junior college transfer, has been diagnosed with a broken foot and will redshirt this season. Whittingham said Salt can't recall when he injured his foot, although he was bothered by soreness in it for a couple of days before an evaluation revealed the break.

The defensive line suffered another blow Thursday night when Niasi Leota had an appendicitis attack. The mid-year junior college transfer underwent an appendectomy Friday morning.

Both of the Mount San Antonio (Calif.) College graduates made plays in Utah's first camp scrimmage. Leota had a tackle-for-loss, while Salt was credited with a pass breakup.

Whittingham said that defensive back Lewis Walker is also "on the shelf for a while." The senior has stress fractures in his lower legs.

"We've just got to work through it," Whittingham said. "Everyone in the country is going through a similar situation to one degree or another. We've just got to keep moving forward."

Leota is the second Ute to be sidelined with appendicitis this year, joining freshman defensive back Alphonso Marsh.

IN REVIEW: Whittingham joked that he took Thursday afternoon off — went home and went swimming — instead of reviewing tape of the scrimmage.

In reality, though, Whittingham and his staff broke down the film and considered it a "mixed bag" with a lot of positives and a lot of things to work on. Whittingham said they began to address the latter in Friday's double-day. No immediate depth chart moves were made, nor were any changes in reps made.

MORE ON HANSEN: Whittingham reiterated that freshman quarterback Chase Hansen's season-ending shoulder surgery went well on Wednesday and that he'll begin rehab on Monday. Whittingham added that most of the rehab process will be completed before Hansen leaves on a planned LDS Church mission in late December or early January.

"He's going to be 100 percent when he returns," Whittingham said. "That's the anticipation."

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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