The 5-1 Louisville Cardinals are coming off of an impressive 28-6 victory against the Syracuse Orange and could be heading into Saturday’s match up with Clemson one player stronger.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker has a “good chance” to play Saturday when the Cardinals take on the Tigers. Parker has been sidelined with a broken bone in his left foot. Parker missed the first six weeks because of the preseason injury, and his return will provide a major boost to a young offense in need of all the weapons it can get. The prognosis was that Parker would miss between six and eight weeks, so the doctors were accurate with the initial assessment of Parker’s foot.
In the preseason, Parker was widely regarded as one of the top wide receivers in the nation. With the loss of Teddy Bridgewater to the NFL the Cardinals were in dire need of an offensive spark, and there was hope that Parker would provide it. Through the first six weeks, head coach Bobby Petrino has used two different quarterbacks, Will Gardner and Reggie Bonnafon, and has struggled to find consistency from either of the two.
Bonnafon, a true freshman, started the past two games while Gardner has nursed a knee injury. Whoever gets the nod for the Clemson bout, will hopefully an extra target if Parker continues to recover at current pace.
A season ago, Parker caught 55 passes for 885 yards including a school record 12 touchdowns. Parker has been a mainstay on the Louisville offense, finding himself among the leaders in most statistical categories over his first three seasons. If Parker hopes to pursue the NFL, he must regain form quickly and prove to professional teams he is still the same player as he was prior to the injury.
*Section Photo credit to Brett Carlsen, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Rob Foldy, USA Today Sports