COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina thought it would be without Chaz Elder for up to four weeks when he suffered a rib injury against Mississippi State on Sept. 10.
The senior safety came back sooner than expected, as he returned to practice last week and played against Texas A&M on Saturday.
“I think he played well,” safety D.J. Smith said. “Obviously, he had been sitting out some. He had to get back on his feet and get his reads right. There was a little rust in that, but I feel like he played decent overall.”
Elder made one tackle in his first game back. He did not start, as Smith and senior Chris Moody were on the field first.
Moody moved back to safety following Elder’s injury, giving the Gamecocks the chance to develop more depth. Sophomore Steven Montac and Moody were among the beneficiaries.
“I feel bad that he got hurt, obviously,” Smith said. “But it’s the next man up-type deal. It happens. It’s football. That put Montac in. He showed the coaches he can play.
“I think it helped him and the players that didn’t really play as much to show the coaches they can play in big games.”