Buffaloes Paul Richardson And Rodney Stewart Expected To Return Against USC

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 10: Paul Richardson #6 of the Colorado Buffaloes is unable to make a reception against the defense of Steve Williams #1 of the California Golden Bears late in the fourth quarter at Folsom Field on September 10, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

We hinted at it in our story about Orms and Vigo yesterday, but another update came out last night from CUBuffs.com confirming that wide receiver Paul Richardson, and even more surprisingly,  running back Rodney Stewart are likely to play this Friday night when the USC Trojans come to town. 

CU coach Jon Embree answered in the affirmative Monday afternoon when asked if he expected that duo to be available for Friday night's game against Southern California at Folsom Field (7 p.m., ESPN).

"Yeah, they both practiced," Embree said. "(Richardson) was practicing some last week and 'Speedy' went some (Monday) . . . . Not to sound like a broken record, but you'll have to see how sore they are, if there's swelling, after they've practiced. That's just unfortunately how it is with knees and dealing with the injuries they have."

Richardson, the Buffs' top receiver, has missed four games, while Stewart, the team's No. 1 tailback and leading rusher, has missed the last two.

The return of Stewart and Richardson, combined with a second week for quarterback Tyler Hansen to recover from  a concussion sustained against the Oregon Ducks, should be a big boost to the Buffaloes offense. While the defense is still banged up, the offense is nearly back to 100% with only offensive lineman Jack Harris and possibly wide receiver Kyle Cefalo missing from the week one roster. Friday's night's game could be interesting with a big, blacked-out (in more ways than one) crowd amped up for a national TV appearance. On top of that, temperatures are expected to be sub-40 degrees with chances of rain and snow, an environment that the Trojans have very little experience in. Hey, a guy can dream right?

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