This morning the Baylor Bears received some welcome news in the form of injury clearances: OG Desmine Hilliard and RB Devin Chafin have both been cleared to play. The news came in the form of a tweet from the official football account:
"Devin Chafin and Desmine Hilliard will be back, so we'll be in good shape." - @CoachArtBriles #SicMSU— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) December 17, 2014
While Chafin's return wasn't absolutely certain, there was always a good chance that he would return for the Cotton Bowl. Chafin's presence in the backfield gives the Bears' rushing attack a huge boost, as he's the power back on short yardage situations. He missed a few games in the middle of the season and his absence was most definitely felt in and around the goal line. Against the stout front 7 of Michigan State, his presence will most certainly be welcome.
Hilliard, on the other hand, has been out of the lineup since the TCU game, where he injured his wrist on the final drive. He and Troy Baker made up the right side of the offensive line until both went down with apparent season-ending injuries in successive weeks. After the TCU game, it was widely reported that Hilliard was finished for the season. His return to the offensive line gives some additional depth that will certainly assist against the Spartans defensive line.
Both returning to the field is most welcome news as preparations for the Cotton Bowl get into full swing.