STANFORD -- Senior defensive end Henry Anderson, who suffered a knee injury in the Army game, will be out for several weeks, Stanford coach David Shaw said Tuesday. Shaw declined to elaborate on the injury or indicate how much time Anderson would miss.
"It wasn't a chop block," Shaw said. "It was kind of weird."
Anderson, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound senior from Atlanta, is expected to return before the season ends.
In the meantime, Josh Mauro, a 6-6 senior who has been playing nose tackle, will take Anderson's spot when the No. 5 Cardinal take on 23rd-ranked Arizona State on Saturday at Stanford Stadium in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Game time is 4 p.m.
All the Stanford defensive linemen are coached to play the various line positions, and Mauro's switch from nose tackle exemplifies why versatility matters.
"There are very few guys that can play at all places on defensive line," Shaw said. "That's how we train our guys so we never get stuck."
Although Mauro has been listed as a reserve this season, Cardinal teammates and coaches consider him to be an important contributor. Shaw said he expects the Texan to play in the NFL.
"The fact he wasn't a starter is (bull)because he plays a lot," Shaw added. "It doesn't mean anything to us or to NFL guys, either. They say this guy flashes."
Mauro doesn't expect much change on the line other than some of the team's younger players being asked to take on a larger role.
"You feel a little void with Henry not there, but there are young guys who are hungry and ready to take some reps," said Mauro, who added not many schools thought he could play defensive end in college.
"He feels great for the first time in a month," Shaw said.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan is savoring his fullback's return. "Hew's a playmaker," Hogan said. "He adds another dimension to the game."
Senior cornerback Barry Browning, however, is doubtful this week after an awkward fall. Linebacker Blake Martinez is expected to miss at least three weeks after suffering an undisclosed injury recently at practice.
"I feel good, not great," he said. "There are some gains we made from week one to week two. I don't know if we operating close to our abilities."
Hogan has earned a "B," but only because he has saved the offense at times. His coach, though, expects more.
"The fumbles hurt bad; the interception hurt bad," Shaw said. "Those are things that can't happen."
Hogan agreed with the evaluation, saying he needs to be more efficient.
"We need to finish in the end zone," he added. I don't want to settle for field goals."
"It's a complete 180-degrees from last week," Mauro said. "It's a more up-tempo game. It's not the triple option coming at your knees."
Inside linebacker Trent Murphy is happy to put the confounding triple-option scheme behind him.
"Now we're lining up against 300-pound linemen again," he said.
"They don't want to be distracted by their old college team," Shaw said.
Arizona State (2-0) at Stanford
(2-0), 4 p.m. Fox