Oh, how unlucky Maryland's tight ends are. Lansford Watson's done for the year. Will Yeatman won't be back until week three against West Virginia, and even then only as a glorified offensive lineman thanks to a broken finger that will leave him unhelpful in the passing game. And the only entrenched, relatively healthy starter, Devonte Campbell, has been out for much of fall practice thanks to a concussion. In the place of Maryland's top three tight ends, redshirt sophomore Matt Furstenburg and redshirt freshman Dave Stinebaugh, both unknown commodities, have been receiving the
majority all of the snaps in practice.
And now it gets worse for Campbell and Maryland: instead of a possibly nagging, semi-dangerous injury that wouldn't cause him to miss any playing time, the word from the fellows at IMS via the Twittersphere is now that he's also strained an MCL and will miss 2-4 weeks. While that diagnosis isn't final, it is plenty scary: if the recovery goes perfectly, he'll be back (at the earliest) against Navy, and even then doubtfully at full strength. This could drag out until the West Virginia game, and maybe longer.
In other words, in a rather crucial game for Maryland's season - though not a must-win - the Terps will be without their top three tight ends, which is usually one of their premier pass-catching positions. Unlike some other offenses, Ralph Friedgen's system makes good use of their tight ends, and skill at the position is a huge boon to the offense. All three of Campbell, Watson, and Yeatman looked to be able to fill in admirably; instead, Maryland is left with Furstenburg and Stinebaugh, two entirely unproven, if perhaps talented, options.
The good news is that this wasn't sprung at the end of practice; both have gotten plenty of snaps, and Stinebaugh was even the team's leading receiver at yesterday's scrimmage (Furstenburg wasn't bad either; he grabbed a TD reception). Still, Maryland's offense will be missing a very important piece when they take on the Midshipmen in Baltimore.
For now, I'm holding off on the "curse" thing. But if Furstenburg goes down, well...maybe Vernon Davis is angry somewhere.