East Lansing — Michigan State was already dealing with its share of injuries entering Saturday’s game at home against Central Michigan, and by the end, the Spartans lost another key contributor for the foreseeable future.
Sophomore wide receiver Cody White suffered a broken left hand diving for a ball late in the first half of No. 21 Michigan State’s 31-20 victory and will be out for an indefinite period.
“When guys are out I tell you, so he won't be playing,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “He has a broken hand so he'll be out for a little bit. We'll just have to. … I think we'll get the other guys all back so we'll see when they get back and that kind of thing. They should be back relatively quickly, I believe, we'll see.
“It's a tough break, no pun intended. He's playing very well and has some big plays in the game for us and has all season, but he'll be back this season as well, so things could be worse — always can be.”
White had two catches for 40 yards on Saturday and leads Michigan State with 20 this season. The “other guys” Dantonio was talking about are junior Darrell Stewart Jr. and freshman Jalen Nailor, neither of whom played on Saturday.
Stewart hurt his left ankle in last week’s win over Indiana and it was Nailor who took advantage, scoring twice, including a 75-yard run in the fourth quarter. But the speedy freshman was not in uniform against Central Michigan. Dantonio didn’t give any details on Nailor’s absence, saying only it wasn’t because of a disciplinary issue.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks about his team's win over Central Michigan on Saturday. The Detroit News
The absence of three receivers created opportunities for others as sophomore Laress Nelson, senior Brandon Sowards and redshirt freshman C.J. Hayes saw playing time.
The new faces might have led to some issues in the passing game as Brian Lewerke was 16-for-25 for 185 yards and an interception.
“I feel like when you have a starting quarterback and your top four or five receivers, those guys are very much on the same page,” co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. “Not that the other guys don't know what you are doing, but anytime you start to dip into five, six, seven, eight, nine guys you might not be on the same page. It is an adjustment. We certainly have a lot of depth and talent at those positions so it is just a matter of them getting on the same page.”
Running back LJ Scott missed his second straight game with an ankle injury while guard Kevin Jarvis was also out after hurting his ankle last week. Guards David Beedle and Luke Campbell were back full-go this week while left tackle Cole Chewins played a handful of plays.
Cornerback Josh Butler, who is starting in place of Josiah Scott, also played only a couple of plays after getting hurt last week. He was replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore Tre Person.