Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 9/11/12
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State freshman linebacker Carlos Mendoza will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a bone chip in his injured left shoulder. ASU coach Todd Graham told reporters Tuesday the damage was worse than initially expected and will require surgery. Graham said Mendoza will apply for a medical redshirt to preserve a season of eligibility. "We thought he was going to be fine, it was going to be one we could just strengthen," Graham said. "He was really down about it, and we were, too, but I told him we'll be real happy five years from now." Mendoza, a product of Oaks Christian High School (Westlake Village, Calif.), had worked his way onto the second-team defense. He impressed quickly with a tackle for loss in his debut and two interceptions prior to his injury in last week's game. Mendoza saw significant playing time against Illinois with redshirt senior Brandon Magee sidelined with concussion. "If I had to do it all over again, I would let Carlos (start)," Graham said after the game. "I was worried that he would be overwhelmed. He wasnt overwhelmed at all. He played great. His assignments were all right on." Mendoza's injury might have left ASU thin at linebacker had the concussion kept Magee out beyond one week, but he was cleared to practice and returned Tuesday. LEWIS DIVES INTO DEFENSE ASU wasted no time testing running back Deantre Lewis on defense Tuesday, the day after Graham revealed he would try Lewis there as a means of adding depth to a thin secondary. Lewis wore a defensive jersey and lined up with the first-team defense during team drills. He played at a nickel cornerback position and at free safety. "Deantre looked great today," Graham said. "What an incredible athlete. There's a great example of a guy that is no doubt a dynamic tailback, and we're saying 'Hey, we need you to do this if you don't mind doing it for us,' and he comes out today really bright, really smart, really can do some things. He'll be able to help us, I'm hoping he can be able to do it by this weekend." It might take more than three practices and a walkthrough before Lewis is ready to play defense in a game, though he said things like rushing the quarterback take very little time to learn. While the move to defensive back takes Lewis away from his natural position, he said he's excited about the opportunity. "I feel like I can let loose some of my aggression on the opponents," Lewis said. "It's something that's been built up in me for a long time. I feel like this is my chance to get it out of me." Much of that aggression stems from a random shooting that injured his left leg and cost him the 2011 season. When he was finally ready to return, Lewis found himself buried behind three running backs on the depth chart. Lewis said he has not played defense since his freshman year of high school. He said he went to Graham and told him he wanted to play defense. "They're giving me a chance to show what I can do, and I'm trying to take full advantage of it," Lewis said. "It's just going to be me learning the plays. As far as man and zone, I think that stuff will come back real quick. It's just me being disciplined and learning what the defense is doing as a whole." Graham suggested Monday the move would be more of an experiment and not take Lewis away from the offense. But with Lewis spending all of practice with the defense, ASU changing his position to defensive back on his official team bio and removing him from the offensive depth chart, the move might be more permanent than originally believed. Graham said Lewis will still play running back or receiver in certain situations but the focus now appears to be all defense. "We've just got to be careful we don't overload him, but he was really sharp in (man-to-man coverage)," Graham said. "He's physical, he can really help us. What we envision him doing is being a bandit free-safety-type guy." HEALTH WATCH Senior defensive lineman Corey Adams continues to miss practice with back issues. Graham said Adams will have good days and bad days, but Adams is not expected to be ready to play Saturday against Missouri.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron, Steph featured on SI ‘A Nation Divided, Sports United’ cover

Tom Brady on Aaron Hernandez: ‘I don’t think about him very often’

Four NCAA BB assistants arrested in alleged fraud scheme involving Adidas

Patriots apologize for charging fans $5 for tap water

If you don't appreciate Aaron Judge yet, there's still time

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones kneels with players prior to anthem, later stands

Jim Harbaugh wants Big Ten to address ‘unsportsmanlike’ opposing locker rooms

Yasiel Puig to play Tuesday after being benched two games

The strangest, oddest, most ridiculous developments of NFL Week 3

LeBron on Irving trade: I was ready to give him the keys

Josh Norman to Raiders WRs: ‘Do not run your mouth’

After Carmelo Anthony trade, the Western Conference looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After Melo trade, the West looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker