Injury report: Chippewas to be without two top players in homecoming game

Muskegon senior JaCorey Sullivan dives for the ball in the red zone against FIU, Saturday, Sept. 25.

Central Michigan football will be without two top players in its homecoming matchup with Toledo. 

Head coach Jim McElwain confirmed senior wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan and junior linebacker Troy Brown will not play against the Rockets. Sullivan missed last week's win over Ohio with a hand injury suffered late in the week, while Brown exited the game with an undisclosed injury after playing just eight snaps. Senior tight end Hunter Buczkowski was also listed as questionable. 

For Sullivan, the Chippewas' second-leading receiver in terms of yards and leader in receiving touchdowns, there is no timetable for his return. 

"He's working on it," McElwain said. "He will be out this week." 

Brown, the Chippewas' third leading tackler and an All-Mid-American Conference selection the past two years, could be back for the team's Oct. 23 matchup with Northern Illinois. 

"Hope to get him back maybe the following week, but time will tell on that," McElwain said. 

In both cases, the Chippewas have experienced replacements. Redshirt freshman Justin Whiteside and true freshman Fernando Sanchez will fill Brown's absence. Whiteside was the Chippewas' highest-graded pass rusher by Pro Football Focus in the win over Ohio. 

"I thought Whiteside played great last week and played a lot of reps," McElwain said. "We got Sanchez in a little bit and we think he's gonna be a great player in this program. So he's gotta be able to help there as well." 

Senior wide receiver Remi Simmons will fill some of the void in Sullivan's absence. The Stephen F. Austin transfer has played increased snaps as the season has progressed and currently has seven catches for 106 yards. 

In addition to Simmons, the Chippewas have Northwestern State transfer Levar Gumms and freshmen Alec Ward and Chris Parker. 

Buczkowski left late in the Ohio game holding his arm. McElwain said the Mount Pleasant native's injury isn't as severe as initially thought, but his status for Saturday's game is questionable. 

Junior running back Darius Bracy and defensive back Dishon McNary will both remain out, though Bracy could be on track to return soon. Bracy suffered an MCL injury in week three against Louisiana State and was given a three-to-six week timetable to return. 

"Bracy's doing good," McElwain said. "He's still not back, obviously, but he's ahead of schedule so maybe in a couple weeks which would be a big boost for us." 

The Chippewas and Rockets will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. In addition to homecoming, the game will also serve as the hall of fame game. CMU football legends Dan LeFevour and Joe Staley will be inducted into the Marcy Weston CMU Athletics Hall of Fame Friday.