Phillips ruled out for USC with knee injury September 16, 2016 1 Comment Share tweet Vihan Lakshman Senior Staff Writer By: Vihan Lakshman | Senior Staff Writer Following the conclusion of Friday’s practice, the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal announced that defensive lineman Harrison Phillips will not play in Saturday’s game against USC due to a knee injury. Defensive lineman Harrison Phillips has been ruled out for the matchup against USC on Saturday with a knee injury. This is another major setback for Phillips who medically redshirted last season after tearing his ACL in the Cardinal’s first game against Northwestern. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily) Phillips, who went down in the third quarter of the Cardinal’s season opener against Kansas State, received good news during Stanford’s bye week that his injury would not be season-ending or require surgery. The initial expectation was that Phillips would miss several weeks of the season, but the junior challenged that prognosis by progressing faster than expected, maintaining his spot at the top of the depth chart at defensive tackle and participating in individual drills in practice. On Tuesday, Stanford head coach David Shaw called Phillips’ chances of playing on Saturday a “50-50” proposition. The loss of Phillips strikes a major blow for the Stanford defensive line, which will now have to operate without one of its key pieces up front. Against Kansas State, Phillips recorded 3 tackles, including 1 sack, and consistently caused trouble in the backfield. With Phillips officially ruled out, fifth-year senior Jordan Watkins will likely get the start at defensive tackle. Watkins is coming off of the best performance of his career against the Wildcats in which he notched 3 tackles, including 2 sacks, one of which resulted in a safety. “The biggest thing for Jordan is to play as hard as he played last week,” Shaw said about the possibility of Watkins replacing Phillips in the starting lineup. “He understands what to do and how to do it…If Harrison can’t go, we have every confidence that Jordan’s going to go out there and play a great game.” The announcement is another devastating setback for Phillips, who missed nearly all of the 2015 season after tearing his ACL on the Cardinal’s opening defensive series against Northwestern. On that drive, Phillips looked dominant, bursting into the backfield to deflect a pass — his only box score stat from last year. After being thrown into action at defensive tackle as a 255-pound true freshman in 2014 following an injury to David Parry, Phillips earned a medical redshirt after his 2015 injury to regain a season of eligibility. No timetable is set for the Omaha, Nebraska, native’s return, but Phillips is expected to play again this season. Stanford kicks off against USC at 5 p.m. this Saturday. The game will be televised on ABC. Contact Vihan Lakshman at vihan ‘at’ stanford.edu. David Parry David Shaw Harrison Phillips Jordan Watkins Kansas State football Northwestern football Stanford football USC football 2016-09-16 Vihan Lakshman September 16, 2016 1 Comment Share tweet Subscribe Click here to subscribe to our daily newsletter of top headlines.