You know the story by now. Devonte Campbell, Maryland's starting tight end, has a concussion and then injures his knee. Lansford Watson, Maryland's #2 tight end, is out for the year. Will Yeatman, perhaps the Terps' third option, broke his finger and will be out for at least a few weeks.
Just like that, Maryland's tight end position is robbed of all of its depth, and two unproven options - sophomore Matt Furstenburg and freshman Dave Stinebaugh - have been the only tight ends healthy all fall. The hope was that Campbell could return to play in time for the Navy game, but per Jeff Barker, he's now officially been ruled out for Monday's opener.
Obviously, entering play with two healthy tight ends (and maybe Ryan Schlothauer, a recruited walk-on), neither of whom have received serious playing time before, is pretty scary. Maryland likes to utilize their tight ends in the passing game, too, so we'll see if either of them are for real. Furstenburg has received some PT in the past and hasn't looked lost, but he's been injured more than healthy in his time here.
In other news, Barker also says that Maryland's starting kicker, Nick Ferrara, may be out as well. He's a game-time decision. That not only ruins my near-perfect special teams unit, but it's also a bad sign for more obvious reasons. Travis Baltz, the Terps' punter, would be the replacement, but he hasn't place-kicked since high school.
Having a 45-yarder (or longer) as an option in a game that figures to be close (WIS says a one point differential) is a nice little advantage. Sadly, its a luxury that might not be afforded to Ralph Friedgen on Labor Day.
One of the major keys for Maryland this year was to stay healthy, as opposed to last year's disastrous, injury-riddled year. They haven't been too successful on that mark.