October 21, 2008
Grimes grinding it out despite injuries
It's no secret that Texas A&M has been bitten by the injury bug this season. Senior quarterback Stephen McGee is still not 100-percent with a sprained shoulder, junior running back Mike Goodson may miss time due to a sprained MCL he suffered against Texas Tech, offensive tackle Travis Schneider is out with a sprained ankle and tackle Robbie Frost received a concussion in practice last week.
But the player hurting the most on the Aggie roster continues to play through the pain, and against Texas Tech actually changed positions to fill in for his good friend Schneider at right tackle. Junior Lee Grimes normally plays next t Schneider at right guard, but Saturday he was breaking in a new position while praying that his body would hold up to finish the game.
See, Grimes is playing through a number of injuries. He tore the ACL in his left knee his freshman season and continues to have problems with arthritis in the knee. He also sprained the MCL in the same knee in high school - twice. He's playing on a sprained right ankle that has been operated on twice since going to A&M, turf toe in his left foot and injuries to both shoulders.
"My injuries started when I was in high school and they just progressed when I got here," Grimes said. "I'm playing with all that right now and it's frustrating, but it's building character in myself and hopefully it's providing inspiration for my teammates."
In a year where the offensive line can't lose players with only eight scholarship players not counting true freshmen, and it's already down two with Schneider and Frost likely to miss Saturday's game against Iowa State, Grimes could almost be classified as a savior for the Aggies. Quite frankly, A&M can't afford to lose another player on its line without dipping into the pool of true freshmen that head coach Mike Sherman hopes to redshirt this season.
Against Texas Tech, the Aggies started four guards and center Kevin Matthews. Grimes was at tackle along with left tackle Michael Shumard, who has been playing tackle all season after moving from guard despite his prototypical guard-like 6-foot-5, 301-pound frame. Redshirt freshman Evan Eike and sophomore Vincent Williams filled in at the guard spots.
Without Grimes playing through injuries, it's most likely that true freshman Josh Ayers would have found himself in the starting lineup facing defensive ends four to five years his senior in age and in the weight room.
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