Injured Terps WRs Stefon Diggs, Deon Long face surgery, months of recovery

October 20, 2013

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Injured wide receiver Deon Long underwent successful surgery on his broken right tibia and fibula on Sunday morning, Maryland football Coach Randy Edsall said during his weekly teleconference. Sophomore wideout Stefon Diggs will likely undergo an operation on his broken right fibula later this week.

Edsall was informed by team doctors that Long’s injury will require roughly six months to rehabilitate, while Diggs will be sidelined for four months. That pegs the junior transfer to return around spring practices in April, with Diggs at full strength in February.

Asked specifically about running back Brandon Ross, who appeared to suffer a shoulder injury during Saturday’s 34-10 loss at Wake Forest, Edsall deferred to the weekly injury report that will be released Thursday. No other player besides Diggs and Long needed surgery, the third-year coach said.

Edsall also strongly implied that starting quarterback C.J. Brown might have suffered some degree of injury before he was benched early in the third quarter. Speaking about a suddenly muddled quarterback situation, Edsall mentioned, unprompted, how he “always look[s] at the health of our quarterbacks first and foremost.”

“We’ll put the guy on the field who gives us the best opportunity to win based on the health of the quarterbacks,” Edsall said. Brown was replaced by quarterback Caleb Rowe, who threw a touchdown pass on his second snap but finished the afternoon with a string of incompletions, including two turnovers on downs following four straight misfires.

Brown was sacked three times during his outing and threw two interceptions. Asked whether the several hits Brown absorbed in the pocket – including two sacks by Demon Deacons nose tackle Nikita Whitlock for a total loss of 29 total yards – factored into Edsall’s decision to remove Brown, the coach again spoke generally.

“There were a few things that went into that decision making to make that change,” he said.

The Terps, who entered the game with five defensive contributors sidelined and left with their starting quarterback benched, two starting wide receivers needing surgery and the health of their starting running back in flux, now host Clemson with a roster littered by backups. They have straddled this dichotomy all season, adhering to their “next man up” yet distracted by an injury list that grows longer by the day.

“I mean, it’s football,” Edsall said. “Injuries happen every day. There are injuries happening in the NFL games today. They all know the risk they take when they play this game. You don’t’ want anybody to get hurt, but when it happens you still have your job to do.

“I think everybody understands there are broken bones and broken bones heal. It’s unfortunate it happened, but I’m sure those guys have rehabbed hard and we’ll support them in everything they do. We’ll keep them involved, keep them engaged, and everybody’s got to go and continue to do the job they have to do on the field, in the classroom and off the field. They’re disappointed it happen to [Diggs and Long], because they’re good guys and everything else. But it’s part of the game.”

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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