Aaron Roberts, Syracuse football’s starting left guard, sustained an injury to his left knee during summer conditioning drills on Saturday and is expected to miss the 2017 season, according to College Football Talk of NBC Sports.
Roberts started all 12 games for the Orange in 2016 and led the Syracuse offensive line in snaps and knockdown blocks. With the up-tempo offense coach Dino Babers wants to run at Syracuse, it’s essential for his team to have quick, in-shape offensive linemen.
That responsibility now will fall upon sophomores Sam Clausman and Andrejas Duerig, who are expected to compete to start in Roberts’ place this year. Syracuse will begin the season Sept. 1 at home against Central Connecticut State.
In his other two stops as a head coach — Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green — Babers led his team to huge seasons in his second year with the program. Making a big jump this fall with the Orange will be significantly more difficult without Roberts. Syracuse finished 4-8 in Babers’ first season in 2016.
Those sophomore guards will have a chance to get additional experience during the first few weeks of the season against Central Connecticut State, Middle Tennessee and Central Michigan. Then things get tougher. In Week 4, the Orange will visit LSU.