TALLAHASSEE -- As one injured offensive lineman started returning to the mix for Florida State on Friday, another went out with a foot injury that he's unsure how he received.
Junior Austin Barron, the Seminoles' backup center, wore a boot and walked with a crutch as he observed the team's latest practice session from the sidelines. According to coach Jimbo Fisher, a chipped bone in Barron's left foot will keep the lineman out about three to four weeks.
Barron apparently suffered the injury Thursday, Fisher said.
"He had a phenomenal day," Fisher recalled. "We ran him with the 1s and were mixing him in at center.
"He walked in [Friday] and said his foot was sore."
Fisher said Barron cracked part of the bone on the outside of his foot at some point Thursday. In order to get back on the field, Barron will undergo surgery as doctors insert a pin in his foot to reset the bone. Once that happens, he'll rehab and be ready likely sometime before the Seminoles' home opener against Nevada on Sept. 14.
On the same day Barron went down with the injury, true freshman offensive lineman Ira Denson came back to practice. Denson had been held out the last two days after a slight sprain to the AC joint in a shoulder. Fisher said Denson likely will be limited in his duties the next couple of days until trainers feel comfortable with the healing process of his shoulder.
Due to those injuries and one more, the already thin offensive line was a bit of a shell Friday of the unit that started the preseason earlier this week. With Barron out and Denson limited, the Seminoles also missed senior center Bryan Stork for part of the workout.
The starting center, Stork was held out as part of a pre-planned arrangement of off days, Fisher said. In the offseason, Stork had surgery to repair an injury to one of his big toes. He's still recovering from that injury, and will be slow go throughout the preseason. During the season, the Seminoles also will temper their time with him. He won't practice every day.
Fisher said the toe injury has been nagging Stork much of his career and that it likely will be with him well into old age.
Not all was bad on the offensive line front for the Seminoles. With the two centers out, third-string center Sterling Lovelady got significant reps Friday with the first-string group. Fisher said it was important for him to start getting in the mix early in camp because chemistry with the quarterbacks and the actual starter isn't too important a task to take care of right now.
Lovelady is sure to see his share of action now with Barron out.
While the injuries were a major story line, Fisher also expressed his excitement for how well the team seems to be approaching the early days of camp.
"I liked the energy level. I really did," Fisher said of Friday's session. "I liked our focus. We're nowhere near where we need to be, I mean, typical coach talk like you say, but we've got work to do. I like the energy level, I like the direction."
Fisher also had to like the fact that in the final half hour of Friday's workout, he was able to smoothly transition his team into the new indoor practice facility when lightning briefly popped up in the area.
In a matter of seconds, the Seminoles resumed their drills indoors, instead of having to go inside and wait 30 minutes for the handful of lightning bolts to disappear.
The Seminoles will practice through the weekend, but Saturday's session will be closed to the media.
Sunday, they return to Doak Campbell Stadium for their annual Media Day festivities. At that time, players will meet with reporters and pose for team photos before heading over to the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center for the annual Fan Day celebration. The event starts at noon. Fan Day, as always, is free and open to the public.
After Fan Day, the Seminoles come back to the stadium at 4:30 p.m. for a live, open-to-the-public scrimmage. It will be their first scrimmage of the preseason, and it comes one day after they suit up in full pads for the first time.