As one of the top, if not the best, defensive players for the Arizona State Sun Devils, the absence of Will Sutton in Thursday night's game against the Oregon Ducks was greatly noticed. He leads the team in sacks with 8.5 and is a consistent force in the pass rushing game. Without him, the defensive line looked very thin, allowing big holes in the run game and Marcus Mariota oodles of time in the pocket.
When Sutton left in the first quarter, he was down on the field for quite some time. Many fans and media were worried that it could be a torn ACL by the way he was holding his knee and if that were the case, his season would have prematurely come to an end.
Luckily for the Devils, an ACL injury does not seem to be the issue. According to Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic (via Jess Root of SB Nation Arizona), Sutton is listed as week to week and he received a "good prognosis".
Without Sutton, the Devils would have struggled down the stretch. With games coming up against USC, Oregon State and of course, the rival Wildcats of U of A, Sutton's presence will be necessary. If the team has to rest him against UCLA next weekend, then that is the course of action they should take. That is what I inevitably expect them to do.
Further risking Sutton's health would be foolish. He is too integral to the team's success. His ability to plug holes with his 275 pound body as well as take on multiple defenders is key. He requires opposing teams to gameplan for him so as to avoid him getting to their quarterback three or more times per game.
So while no injury is ever good, the fact that Sutton will not be out for the whole season is good news. He is too important to lose. With him, the Devils can hopefully rebound from their big loss to Oregon and make a strong run at a big bowl from the PAC-12 South.