What did we do to deserve this? Where's all this horrible karmic payback coming from? Is Mike Leach so beloved by the footballing deities that passing him over means two years of serious injuries?
DL Andre Monroe is out for the year with a knee injury and will have surgery Thursday. DL Keith Bowers is out two-to-three weeks ...— Jakob Engelke (@Jakob_Engelke) August 21, 2012
LB Kenny Tate has suffered a new knee injury and will be evaluated by doctors soon. Extent and timetable of the injury TBD ...— Jakob Engelke (@Jakob_Engelke) August 21, 2012
Preseason injuries are the worst, man.
To recap: that's Maryland's most promising young lineman gone, his potential backup also gone, and one of Maryland's few bona fide stars with another injury to his legs - which, remember, kept him out all of last season, too. To throw on top of that, Maryland's also without their starting free safety, Matt Robinson, left guard Josh Cary, and, oh yeah, their starting quarterback, too.
If your plan is to wreck us, angry football gods, just get it over with and take Stefon Diggs' ACL. Don't drag it out.
Y'know, actually, I'm wondering if we're actually beyond luck at this point. This is Iowa running back levels of creepy. Two straight years Maryland's had god-awful luck with injuries; perhaps it's the S&C program? Or the trainers? Before you jump on me for accusing someone of something, I'm really not, but I am wondering if there's anything in particular Maryland could be doing to aggravate this. Hey, maybe we're not and we just have a tendency to recruit guys made of paper mache. But I'm a bit skeptical.
Anyway, hold off on the Tate panic; it's seriously scary, but until we get word on how long he'll be out or how serious that injury is, it's not worth it to freak out completely. For all we know, it's only a knock and, given his history with knee injuries, they're playing it safe. Which actually makes a lot of sense.
But for Monroe and, to a lesser extent, Bowers, yeah, you can be worried. Monroe was one of the real bright spots heading into the season for Maryland, forming part of a young core in the defense that included L.A. Goree, Alex Twine, and A.J. Hendy. He was probably the most promising of that group, and his penetrative ability would've been critical for a rather static 3-4 defense. Instead, he's gone, and Bowers - his potential replacement - probably won't be ready by the William and Mary game, either.
The good news is that Maryland actually had defensive line depth this year: Justin Anderson is a perfectly capable senior and will likely start at SDE in Monroe's absence, while Isaiah Ross will be able to move over and provide cover as well. The late departure of Ian Evans stings a bit more now than it otherwise would've, but this doesn't decimate Maryland's line. It just takes off some of the sheen.
Thing is, the team didn't have sheen to begin with. Maryland needed every ounce it could squeeze out of every advantage it could find, and the defensive line was likely one of those positions. It's probably still an advantage over some, but less of one that it would've otherwise been. For a team with little-to-no margin for error, that's bad.
Hey, at least they say that all this stuff evens out over the long run. If that's the case, I think Maryland's built up enough credits for an injury-free season or two by now.