Marcus Lattimore covers his face with a towel as he is carted off the field… (Joe Robbins / Getty Images )
Marcus Lattimore's right knee was dislocated and sustained ligament damage against Tennessee on Saturday, yet South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier believes the junior could eventually return to football.
Spurrier visited Lattimore on Sunday and said the running back displayed a good attitude about his condition. Spurrier said team doctor Jeffrey Guy was able to put Lattimore's knee back in place soon after he was taken from the field to a hospital.
Guy said in a statement that Lattimore's knee was hyperextended and resulted in injuries to several ligaments. Guy said there were no fractures, broken bones or other injuries and Lattimore's surgically repaired left knee was not affected.
"Marcus has already begun the process of prehabilitation prior to surgery and to his eventual return to football," the statement continued.
Spurrier said the injury was significant but discounted speculation Lattimore would never play football again.
Lattimore has not used a redshirt season, so he could take as long as necessary to recover and still return to the Gamecocks for the 2014 season. "We're optimistic his football days are ahead of him," Spurrier said.
Spurrier hasn't yet talked with Lattimore, who turns 21 on Monday, about his future. Spurrier said recovery will take some time, perhaps more than one off-season.
Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman and linebacker Conrad Scheidt were kicked off the team for violating team rules and tight end Taylor Elmo was suspended for violating athletic department policy. Blackman started seven games this season for the Vandals, passing for 230 yards a game with nine touchdowns. Scheidt started three games. ... Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said Caleb Rowe has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, becoming the fourth Terrapins quarterback to suffer a season-ending injury.