Two key Cajuns' status uncertain for 2018 football season
The status of both starting kicker Stevie Artigue and starting tight end Chase Rogers for UL’s upcoming season is uncertain after both Ragin’ Cajun football players sustained recent offseason injuries.
Also uncertain is whether the two will play at all in 2018.
A UL spokesman on Monday confirmed to The Daily Advertiser, when asked, that both were injured and said the two “will be re-evaluated at the beginning of the fall.”
UL, which starts its 2018 season against Grambling on Sept. 1 at Cajun Field, opens its preseason camp in early August.
According to the Cajuns, but unconfirmed otherwise, both Artigue and Rogers were injured “during offseason workouts.”
UL opened its summer workout program June 4.
First-year UL coach Billy Napier declined multiple requests for further comment on Artigue’s and Rogers’ status and how the injuries might impact the Cajuns in September and beyond.
The Cajuns also would not comment on a rumor suggesting Artigue already has undergone surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees and another rumor suggesting Rogers underwent surgery last week to repair a broken foot.
Additionally, UL on Wednesday declined to confirm or deny a report, subsequent to The Daily Advertiser's initial report, by KLWB 103.7 FM's Ben Love that Rogers "will redshirt" in 2018 and that the injury is related the same foot he broke last season.
The Cajuns only continue to say that both Rogers and Artigue will be reevaluated closer to the fall.
Playing as a true freshman last season, Rogers broke a bone in his foot during practice early last November and underwent season-ending screw-insertion surgery.
His missed 5-7 UL’s last four games but, like Artigue, took part in the Cajuns’ spring game last April.
According to a 2016 story from The (Jackson, Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger, Rogers also fractured his left foot during the playoffs of his 2015 junior high school season at Saint Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Rogers considered leaving the Cajuns and transferring to a bigger program after former UL head coach Mark Hudspeth was fired early last December, but Napier — hired later in the same month — asked the MaxPreps high school All-American to give him and his new staff “a chance” and convinced him to stay.
Held in high regard by Napier, Rogers — who finished the year with six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in a mostly backup role — emerged from spring drills listed No. 1 on UL’s depth chart at its unattached tight end spot.
Returnee Matt Barnes and juco-transfer Johnny Lumpkin are listed as co-starters at the attached tight end position.
Artigue, a Lafayette High product and an NFL Draft prospect, was 10-of-14 with two makes from 50-plus yards on field goal attempts and 31-of-37 on PATs as a junior in 2017.
He’s been UL’s primary kicker for most of his time with the Cajuns since his true freshman season in 2015.
Before Artigue got hurt, walk-on Calvin Linden was listed as UL’s backup kicker.
The senior-to-be from John Curtis Christian High kicked in three games in 2017, missing his only field goal attempt against UL Monroe and going 5-for-6 on PATs including 4-of-4 against ULM.
With Artigue injured now, it’s uncertain if UL will add another kicker before the 2018 season begins.