RENO - The knee injury to Nevada defensive end Charles Wilson isn't as serious as the Nevada coach Chris Ault and the training staff originally thought.
Wilson left last Friday's 55-21 loss early and Ault originally thought there was cartilage damage. Instead it turned out to be a bruised knee, which will undoubtedly sideline him for Saturday's game (7:05 p.m.) against in-state rival UNLV at Mackay Stadium.
Erics Clark, a redshirt sophomore, will start in Wilson's spot. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Clark had eight tackles and one sack in four games last year. He didn't have a tackle against Washington State.
Ault was asked if other personnel changes were being made in the wake of giving up 534 yards to Washington State and he said that nothing had been discussed among the coaches as of yet.
The veteran coach did say that he was impressed with the play of Fallon freshman Josh Mauga, who played most of the fourth quarter and finished with one tackle. Ault said he expected Mauga to get plenty of snaps against UNLV behind starter Nick Fuhr.
Another true freshman who caught Ault's eye was Jack Darlington. The first-year receiver caught two passes for 21 yards.
"He ran nice routes," Ault said. "He's going to get better. He didn't get rattled out there."
Ault was asked during Monday's Western Athletic League teleconference on the status of senior wide receiver Nichiren Flowers, who was benched for the first half of last week's loss because he didn't practice hard enough.
Flowers played 14 or 15 snaps in the second half, finishing with two catches for 20 yards. No doubt Ault was trying to make a point, and it's likely that he wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing again.
"He's a good kid," Ault said. "He's a character. He hadn't put in the effort that he needs to put in as a senior."
Flowers looked impressive in practice, running precise routes and making several nice catches.
NOTES: Freshman receiver Arthur King played scout team quarterback Monday, emulating UNLV's Shane Steichen. UNLV runs a spread attack with an option, which new coach Mike Sanford brought over with him from the University of Utah. ... Shannon Sevor stepped on the hand of receiver Alex Rosenblum during a 7-on-7 drill, but Rosenblum returned to practice.
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