Maryland outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, whose torn pectoralis muscle will sideline the dynamic blitzer for the remainder of his junior season, will have surgery on Friday, Coach Randy Edsall announced Tuesday.
Cudjoe-Virgil suffered the injury during the first quarter against Virginia on Saturday and was immediately removed from the game. Team trainers inspected Cudjoe-Virgil on the sideline, probing the Division II transfer beneath his shoulder pads, before escorting him into the locker room. He later returned in warmup clothes with a bag of ice taped to his chest.
The team’s injury report released Monday afternoon revealed that Cudjoe-Virgil, who has 3.5 sacks in five full games, will miss the rest of the season.
“You feel for him,” Edsall said Tuesday. “You really do. But it’s one of those situations where in this game there’s no guarantees you’ll stay healthy for the 12 games. You hope you do. That’ll hurt us. He was having a good year, but now what happens is other guys will have to step up.”
True freshman Yannick Ngakoue will replace Cudjoe-Virgil as the backup “Will” outside linebacker. A former Under Armour all-American rated among Washington’s best prospects, Ngakoue has appeared in all six games this season but recorded just one tackle.
“He came out of a very good program at Friendship Collgiate,” Edsall said. “He understood the work ethic, and he was strong when he got here. The fundamentals and techniques that we teach are a little bit different, which is always understandable. Plus the complexity of how much meeting time and all those sort of things. He came in prepared as well as he could be prepared for the situation, and he’s learning, he’s still got a good learning curve.”