UL's Rogers likely out for season with broken foot, asks to transfer to another school

Nick Fontenot
Special to the Advertiser
UL tight end Chase Rogers goes for a catch during the Ragin' Cajuns football training camp Aug. 6. Rogers, who has a history of foot injuries, broke his foot during a scrimmage Saturday and could be out for the season.

The Ragin’ Cajuns tight ends room took a massive blow in the scrimmage Saturday when sophomore Chase Rogers broke his foot, which will likely end his season, UL coach Billy Napier confirmed at Monday's news conference.

Also on Monday, Rogers stated his interest in transferring to another school by entering the NCAA transfer portal, with multiple reports naming Ole Miss as his target school. UL confirmed to The Daily Advertiser that Rogers did enter the transfer portal but did not name a destination.

Rogers, who has a history of foot injuries, has worked as hard as anyone on the team to get back on the field. Napier said having football taken away from a player so many times can have a negative effect. The concern right now, he said, is to make sure Rogers gets through the adversity.

“We want to make sure Chase is right as a person," Napier said. "We want to support Chase right now, and we’ll work on how we’re going to play offense later. That is the least of our worries. We want to make sure Chase is good.”

More:Ragin' Cajuns tight end Rogers: 'He's a special cat'

Rogers missed most of the 2018 season with a broken foot and also had surgery on his shoulder to correct an injury that happened before last season. Rogers’ injury Saturday is added to a list of injuries at the tight end position for the Cajuns — including injuries to Johnny Lumpkin and Hunter Bergeron. Neither of their injuries appears to be season-ending, but they’ll both miss time.

Napier said the number of injuries to one specific position — in this case, tight ends — is not anything he has experienced before. Napier said the Cajuns have a plethora of options that can potentially fill the holes the injuries have created.

“There are a group of players who are chomping at the bit for their opportunity now,” Napier said. “They woke up this morning thinking this was their chance to make a difference. We have plenty of guys that can go play winning football.”

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The Cajuns will turn to freshmen Neal Johnson and Pearse Migl, as well as graduate-transfer Nick Ralston. To add immediate depth, Napier said 6-foot-6 defensive end Damana Burrell will also move over to the tight end spot.

Ralston, who comes from Arizona State, played under Napier when Napier was with the Sun Devils. Napier said because Ralston is familiar with the system, it makes him a key addition now with all the attrition at the tight end spot.

“It becomes imperative that we took Nick Ralston,” Napier said. “He is a mature senior that will be able to help our team. That’s why we decided to recruit him and bring him in. We felt like we had some potential depth situations there.

“It’s going to challenge our creativity. We are going to have to use some of the contingency plans we have in place," he added. "That’s what is great about college football. Every team we play this year has some type of issue they are working through. As my dad would say, ‘You gotta coach who you got.’ You gotta find a way to get it done. This is when you have to be the best coach and you have to be at your best to put the players in position to have success.”

Contributing: Cody Junot, Tim Buckley

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