ASU's Sutton gets 'good prognosis' on knee
OCT 19, 2012 4:17p ET
Arizona State did not offer further details of the injury.
Sutton, who is second in the nation in sacks and leads the Sun Devils with 8.5, left Thursday's 43-21 loss on the game's second play from scrimmage. He forced Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to fumble, setting up an Sun Devils touchdown, but injured his knee on the play.
After getting treatment on the sidelines, Sutton required crutches, and coach Todd Graham did not sound optimistic, even discussing how irreplaceable Sutton is.
"You’re not going to replace someone that's that good," Graham said. "You have to move on and maybe make some adjustments."
Graham admitted to some strategic mistakes during the loss Thursday as he tried to adjust for Sutton's absence. The injury, he said, threw off ASU's entire defensive approach.
"So much of what we had planned was around him, and you have to have a Plan B, and it took us well into the game to figure out what to do there," Graham said. "That's not an excuse, but we were scrambling, and they did a great job capitalizing on that."
Compounding Sutton's loss was ASU's lack of depth, with Mike Pennel suspended indefinitely and Corey Adams out since early in fall camp with a back injury. Sutton was replaced primarily by juco transfer Jake Sheffield, who has accumulated six tackles this season in limited playing time.
That Sutton's injury is not season-ending is certainly good news for ASU, but the defense will likely have to weather the toughest part of its schedule without him. The Sun Devils host UCLA next week before playing road games against No. 8 (in BCS Standings) Oregon State and No. 10 USC. How much of that stretch and beyond Sutton misses remains unclear, but given the magnitude of the latter two games, Sutton's return would obviously be significant.
Sutton had begun to garner All-America consideration before his injury, totaling 40 tackles this season, including 14 for loss.