Jefferson's status for UNLV game still uncertain

November 13, 2011
photo - Tim Jefferson may not play this week. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE
Tim Jefferson may not play this week. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE 

Air Force might not know for a few days if quarterback Tim Jefferson is going to start against UNLV.

Jefferson suffered a concussion against Wyoming on Saturday. He’ll have to follow Air Force’s protocol for a concussion, which means no activity for 48 hours. If the symptoms clear, he can then start some activity, but no contact until midweek.

“It’s TBD,” Calhoun said of Jefferson’s status. “Anytime it’s a concussion, there’s protocol involved. You have to see how a guy responds, as far as being clearheaded for 48 hours, and that’s just the start of it.”

Jefferson saw the Air Force trainers on Sunday.

“He’s better today,” Calhoun said during his weekly teleconference on Sunday evening. “There’s still enough there we have to meet the 48-hour standard.”

Calhoun said Jefferson wouldn’t be practicing until Wednesday “at the very, very soonest,” although he can do some activities if he feels better today. Air Force won’t have a clear idea of Jefferson’s status until he practices.

Because Jefferson and Connor Dietz, who would start if Jefferson can’t play, are much different quarterbacks, the coaches have to prepare an offensive plan for each scenario. Jefferson is a better passer than Dietz, although Dietz is a more explosive runner.

“You’re trying to decide, if this guy plays or if this guy doesn’t play,” Calhoun said. “We’ve started that part of it.”

Air Force has other injury concerns. Cornerback Anthony Wright was hit in the back and didn’t play in the second half against Wyoming. Safety Jon Davis played after hurting his knee, but was sore on Sunday and will undergo a precautionary magnetic resonance imaging test. Offensive tackle Jason Kons has soreness in his shoulder and neck. Those players will be evaluated through the week.

The Falcons need to win on Saturday against UNLV and in the season finale against Colorado State to become bowl eligible. If Air Force gets to 7-5, its bowl destination is uncertain, considering there will probably be five eligible teams for four Mountain West tie-ins. That might the Falcons land in a bowl like the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, which had an agreement with Army, but the Black Knights will not be eligible.

The Falcons need to win twice for that conversation to matter.

“We have to play like we can play,” linebacker Brady Amack said. “We’ve only done that one or two times for the whole game. It’s going to take two of those games where offense, defense and special teams executes and plays well. We need to take care of business.”

Contact Frank Schwab: 476-4891

Twitter @GazetteAirForce Facebook Gazette Frank Schwab

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