Friday, March 13, 2009

The known and unknown of the McLaughlin injury

An article in a Woburn paper -- that of course is not online -- is saying that McLaughlin has an Achilles injury. This is huge news for a potential Top 10 defense, but of course there is no other reporting from the Boston media or even the BC sites. I think there is some legitimacy to it all as students on campus are reporting that he is using crutches. Having your team captain and one of the better defensive players on crutches is not good news, regardless of the extent of his injuries.

What we know
-- He is injured
-- It is foot/leg related (likely Achilles)

What we don't know
-- If it needs surgery
-- How long he will be out
-- If he'll apply for a medical redshirt
-- If the NCAA will grant him a medical redshirt

McLaughlin redshirted his freshmen year. Although an additional medical redshirt in this sort of situation is common, they are never guaranteed. If he is unavailable for most of the season, it will be a huge setback for the team as a whole. Forget the subjective "leadership" role he filled. His production and importance to the defense was critical. His consistency was one of the reasons we were so strong against the run. His ability to cover space also allowed Herzy to rush the passer more. And as we saw against Maryland, McLaughlin is a playmaker in his own right.

The team has good depth at linebacker but outside of Herzy the rest of the guys are either young and/or untested. The only silver lining is that if he gets a redshirt, his extended career and time off will serve the team well in 2010 (like Raji and Toal's return did in 08, and how we hope Albright will provide a spark in 09).

I'll have more in this as the news trickles out.


Erik said...

I feel like with any injury in March there's a good chance he'll be 100% by August. And if he misses spring ball, he certainly has the experience to get by without it. Another positive related to spring ball, is the retention of Spaz & McGovern meaning no major adjustments for linebackers.

Andrew said...

Anyone know of boston game watches tonight?

eagleboston said...

At first glance, I'm very concerned about this. However, BC always seems to find a way to overcome injuries. Toal and Albright come to mind.

The biggest issue if McLaughlin cannot play this season is depth. Most of the linebackers aside from Herzlich are very young and inexperienced. If something happens to Herzlich, we are all of a sudden in dire straits on defense. Some of the young players may be pressed into service sooner than we would like, which is bad for next season but great for the future. Since I have low expectations for this season given the QB situation, this may not be so bad 2 to 3 years out.

And, who knows, there may be another Toal or Herzy among the youngsters that can contribute this season.

RKCCB said...

If this kid has redshirted and wasn't injured, then he will almost certainly not get an additional year to complete his 4 years of eligibility(has to be done in 5 years). I don't know the exact circumstances, but did want to point out that additional years are only usually granted if a player misses two years because of injuries.