Syracuse Football: Offensive Lineman Down, New Competition Begins
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 26: Aaron Roberts #59 of the Syracuse Orange reacts as Zack Mahoney #16 is lifted in the air after rushing for a 2 yard touchdown in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field on November 26, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Just as Syracuse University football season looms around the corner, yet another injury has struck down the starting line.

It seems the last year’s injury bug has hit the Syracuse University football team in 2017 as well.

Starting left guard Aaron Roberts, will miss the entire 2017 season due to a left knee injury. The redshirt junior led the team in snaps played (968) and knockdown blocks (39) last year, per the official announcement of Roberts’ injury.

During the 2016 season, the Syracuse football team was riddled with a plethora of injuries, as I stated in my previous article. Moreover, working hard to prepare for the upcoming season, Aaron apparently got injured during a summer workout.

However, head coach Dino Babers didn’t get into specifics on this injury. Fall camp is underway and there will be strong competition for the vacated left guard position.

In order to compete at a high level, teams must win the matchup in the trenches. Redshirt sophomore Samuel Clausman was behind Aaron on the spring football depth chart. He could possibly be the guy, who steps up and claim this glaring hole in the Syracuse offensive line.

He could be a potential replacement for Roberts, and it’s time for him to show the coaches he’s the guy. There is such a wide gap between being a second string player and a full-time prepared starter in ACC football.

In order for quarterback Eric Dungey to have a great season, he needs to be protected by his linemen. It remains to be seen who will be the opening day left guard starter as their opening game on Sept. 1 vs. Central Connecticut State looms closer.