Lansford Watson to Undergo Surgery, Miss Season for Terps

Will Yeatman has a broken finger. The earliest he'll be back is for Maryland's third game against West Virginia, and then only for blocking purposes. Devonte Campbell suffered a concussion last week and hasn't practiced since. Even recruited walk-on Ryan Schlothauer pulled a hamstring and has been held out. Perhaps the most prominent and painful injury, though, is Lansford Watson's: he tore a muscle in his leg, and it never went away. Now, he'll be forced to undergo surgery and will miss the rest of the year for the Terps.

The injuries to Yeatman, Campbell, and Watson wiped out Maryland's three starting TEs. The only uninjured TEs on the team are both young and unproven options, sophomore Matt Furstenburg and freshman Dave Stinebaugh.

Watson's injury is just another speed bump in what has to be considered an ultimately disappointing career. He rode in as a high four-star/low five-star wide receiver from Lincoln HS on Coney Island, ended up switching to tight end, redshirting, and has received only sparing playing time since. He was unable to jump over more tenured options such as Tommy Galt last year or Dan Gronkowski the year before. And this year he was behind Campbell as the true starter.

He's been good for at least one or two big pass plays per year, but past that he's been up-and-down. His blocking ability has been questioned as well. The next Vernon Davis, as some had hoped he would be when he entered the program, he is not.

Still, his injury is a big blow to an already depleted Terps tight end unit. Maryland has traditionally made very good use of multiple tight end sets in the past and have found major success at the position, from Jeff Dugan to Vernon Davis to Joey Haynos to Gronkowski. But with the top three options having preexisting injuries, depth will be a problem.

Yeatman should be back pretty quickly, but he won't be an option in the passing game until he can that finger fixed. Campbell shouldn't miss any time with a concussion, but it kept out Brian Westbrook for quite some time last year in the pros and could easily reoccur, which would be an ominous shadow on his future playing time.

Ralph Friedgen will likely turn to Furstenburg to fill Watson's void. A tall, lean pass-catcher from New York, Furstenburg is only a redshirt sophomore, but has two years of playing time and a few catches to his name. He's a prototypical receiving tight end in terms of his physique, and he'll have more than a few opportunities to prove himself worthy on the cerebral side, too.

Stinebaugh is, for the moment, a backup candidate. He's another receiving-oriented guy, but doesn't have Furst's experience. Regardless, both have gotten plenty of snaps in fall practice, and that can only bolster their playing hopes.

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