It's safe to say that Kenny Tate's senior season didn't turn out as expected. After struggling with a transition from safety down to linebacker, he's had to deal with an injury that's kept him out of the last three games. And now, to top it off, Randy Edsall just announced that Tate will have surgery, miss the rest of the season, and apply for a medical redshirt.
Tate will be out for six to nine months, which would mean best case he would be out until April-ish. Even that would almost assuredly force him out of the NFL Draft equation, making his best - and perhaps only - option pursuing an injury redshirt. To qualify for a medical redshirt, a player has to miss 30% of games due to injury; Tate played in four of 12 games, which is 33%. I don't know if they'd also take a bowl game into account, which would push it back under 30%, or if they'd give special consideration for Tate given that his eligibility is otherwise running out. Ultimately, I guess that it gets done somehow.
Strangely, we still don't know what the injury is, so I'm guessing there'll still be a crackpot or two who'll claim that this is all some elaborate scheme from Edsall to keep Tate in the doghouse and off the field. Edsall's still a crazy control freak, but I'd guess it gets released sooner or later. I doubt it was purposefully left out.
Tate's loss hurts, but it's not a death blow. He was always a poor fit for linebacker, and watching him squander his very obvious talents there was cringe-worthy. Mario Rowson, who is more aggressive and physical, has looked good there as a freshman. The loss of his leadership - he was one of four captains, another one being Andrew Gonnella - is the biggest departure. That Maryland has already gone several games without him is good preparation for doing the same the rest of the year.
If Tate can get another year of eligibility, I wonder if Bradford/Edsall/Defensive Coordinator X decides to make the call to move him back to safety after seeing him struggle at linebacker. With the play of the young freshmen linebackers this season, depth at LB should no longer be an issue. His presence in the defensive backfield could help to calm a struggling, young secondary.
Sad injury to see, especially given that he could've jumped last year and no one would've blamed him. Hopefully he gets better and returns to College Park as the marauding safety we all remember, rescuing his draft stock in the process.