Maryland football head coach DJ Durkin announced Tuesday that sophomore receiver Tahj Capehart tore his ACL in spring practice and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.
The Terps were going to have to replace D.J. Moore’s production by committee this year, and now the stable of receivers looking to fill the void is a man short.
“Tahj Capehart actually tore his ACL at a practice earlier in the spring so he’ll be having surgery here soon,” Durkin told reporters at practice inside Cole Field House Tuesday. “So he’s out now and obviously for a while with that type of injury.”
Capehart was the only one of five receivers in the Class of 2017 that didn’t redshirt last season, making it all the more likely that he’d carve out a role for himself this fall. Matt Canada’s offense, which makes use of elite athleticism in as many ways as possible, seemed like a perfect fit for a player like Capehart, whose open-field abilities make him a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
Instead, it’ll be up to the rest of the receiving corps to pick up the slack. Taivon Jacobs, Jahrvis Davenport and DJ Turner still look like the most likely wideouts to lead that charge, while redshirt freshmen Jayden Comma, Sean Nelson, Carlos Carriere and MJ Jarrell will all look to earn playing time. Freshman early enrollee Jeshaun Jones has also looked the part in practice early on and could find himself on the field sooner rather than later if he keeps it up.
Senior offensive lineman Damian Prince, who elected to return to College Park for one more season, will also miss some time before summer practice starts.
“Damian Prince is out right now,” Durkin said. “He suffered a sprain to his leg, but he’s okay. No surgery or anything like that, but we’re holding him out of practice right now.”
The good news, Durkin said, is that he feels the team has plenty of other options across the offensive line to help absorb the blow.
“I think we have more than five offensive linemen that can play at a really high level and that we can win with,” Durkin said. “We can use more than five at a time.”