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10 Biggest Spring Questions: No. 7 How do Siale Fakailoatonga, Chase Hansen, Troy McCormick, and Tim Patrick Return from Injuries

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Spring practice starts in less than a week. In the run up to the start of spring football, we will be looking at the 10 biggest questions. We have already taken a look at several questions, and next up is looking at how tight end Siale Fakailoatonga, quarterback/safety Chase Hansen, running back Troy McCormick, and wide receiver Tim Patrick return from season-ending injuries.

Fakailoatonga suffered a season-ending injury against Arizona State. His loss was not talked about much with the emergency of tight end Harrison Handley as a receiving threat. Fakailoatonga's loss was a bigger blow though than I think many people realize. Coaches praised him for his blocking ability, saying he was almost like an extra offensive lineman. His receiving skills were also improving.

Hansen started one game last season at safety against Washington and saw some time at quarterback and special teams as well. In the game against Washington, he suffered a leg injury on the last play of the game. Hansen played well at safety and showed a lot of potential, especially considering he played quarterback in spring, fall, and during the first part of the season. Hansen could replace departed Tevin Carter at safety this year (though his position is up in the air, something we will look at in a coming article). Hansen is a smart player with above average athleticism.

McCormick did not play at all last season, suffering a knee injury in spring football 2015. McCormick is a scat back, who also may also see some time at slot receiver. Prior to his injury, McCormick was used mainly on outside the tackle runs (including jet sweeps as a slot receiver). McCormick had game changing speed prior to his knee injury. He was going to act as a change of pace back last year and a hybrid playmaker.

Patrick's injury may have been the most detrimental to the team last season. Patrick joined Utah out of Grossmont College prior to the 2014 season. He showed flashes of success in his junior season in 2014, recording 16 catches for 177 yards in nine games. He suffered a horrific leg injury against Oregon in 2014 that has been bothering him since. Utah was thin at wide receiver last year, especially as the season went on. Head coach Kyle Whittingham said on multiple occasions that they were missing Patrick. He is a big receiver at 6'5" 208 pounds with good speed prior to his injury. With Britain Covey, Bubba Poole, and Kenneth Scott all gone from last year's receiving corps, Patrick will have the most experience of any receiver this season.

Each of these players was missed last season, and they will help provide a boost this year if they can return to form after their injuries to help replace former teammates. Utah's wide receiving corps underachieved last year, and the top three receiving yardage leaders are gone (Covey, Scott, and running back Devontae Booker). If Patrick is healthy, he could provide a boost to a young wide receiving corps. With Booker and Poole both gone, Utah will rely on Joseph Williams primarily to carry the load at running back. Having a healthy McCormick would allow Utah to give Williams some rest and utilize McCormick's different skill set. Fakailoatonga's skills as a blocker are essential to Utah's power running game, which was less effective last season after he got hurt. Having him on the field to block will help to mitigate the loss of Booker. Hansen is the biggest wildcard since his position is not yet clear. If he returns with his speed intact, I would not be surprised to see him replace Carter at strong safety. Each of these players could have started or been a significant role player for Utah last season, so how they recover from season-ending injuries could be a key to Utah's success in 2016.

10 Biggest Spring Questions:

No. 10 How will the Offensive Line Position Battles Shake Out?

No. 9 How will the Defense Change Under Morgan Scalley?

No. 8 What New Schemes Will Be Incorporated into the Offense?