The Mercer Bears open Southern Conference play Saturday at Five Star Stadium against Wofford.
But the Bears will do so without one of their top offensive weapons. Head coach Bobby Lamb said Monday morning that running back Alex Lakes won't play after suffering a punctured lung.
Lakes has rushed for 269 yards and three touchdowns in the Bears' 2-1 start. He is averaging 89.7 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry.
Tee Mitchell likely will get more of the work load Saturday. He is averaging 100.7 yards per game and 8.2 yards per carry.
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Wofford is 2-2 after beating Gardner-Webb last week. The Terriers beat Mercer 34-6 last year.