A lot of readers here have asked the question, "Why does Purdue have such an unusual amount of injuries this season?" I think we've all asked that, or a similar question, in the past few weeks. I asked my college roommate* about his theory of why we're seeing the rash of injuries this season.
His insight was good- he pretty much said he'd look at coaching, not strength and conditioning as blame for the type of injuries Purdue has been having. Flexibility (or lack thereof), overworking and fatigue might be the culprits when looking at the knee injuries, in particular. He expounded by saying, much of the time, a coaching staff leans heavily on grad assistants to make sure players are working on flexibility drills and exercises...and some grad assistants are very good at what they do, and some aren't.
But, there might be some hard data that pushes back at the idea that Purdue's football team is as injury prone as it seems to be. This site, covers.com, breaks down college football's injury reports and posts their findings. In this context Purdue looks amazingly-average on the injury front.
To me, the main issue Hope and Co. might still be fighting is depth. Skilled position players in particular have fallen at a higher rate than the rest of the team...and at this point, it's pretty difficult to have a true Frosh or another under-experienced player pick up where an all-Big Ten guy left off (for example).
A few seasons ago, Iowa lost their top-3 running backs...and had to deal with the hand they had. This is football. Every play is brutal...every play has a high-potential to see a season-ending, or team trajectory-changing injury. It hurts that Bolden and K. Smith (specifically) are out. But it could be worse...it can always be worse. Look at teams like "Tha U", Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse and others. All seem to be worse off than Purdue at this point...some are much worse-off. So, just as the coaching staff has to, we should probably focus on who is available, not what might have been, had everyone stayed perfectly healthy.
As we know in the wake of the last few seasons in basketball, coulda, shoulda, woulda-beens are worth nothing. At least we're not dealing with the garbage that USC, UNC and others are witnessing right now...that's avoidable, painful and flat-out embarrassing.
* After graduating from Purdue, he earned a masters in exercise physiology and a masters in sports management/administration [I believe]...sidebar: it sounds like he's a smart guy, he's really not...he's just a dumb guy like me with a lot more debt...but I digress.