Navy's football team learned yesterday afternoon it will lose starting quarterback Brian Broadwater indefinitely with a broken right collarbone.
Broadwater, a junior, was injured during the second half of Saturday's 35-29 loss to Akron and was replaced by sophomore Brian Madden following Navy's first series in the fourth quarter. Madden will make his first collegiate start this week when the Midshipmen (2-5) travel to Notre Dame.
Adding to the team's woes, Coach Charlie Weatherbie is battling kidney stones and may not be able to make the trip to South Bend if the condition persists.
Broadwater has completed 50 of 107 passes this season for 806 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 626 yards and eight touchdowns. He could return late this season if the injury heals properly, but team trainers declined to speculate on a timetable.
"Since we started in the spring and battled it out, there hasn't been a whole lot of difference between" Broadwater and Madden, quarterbacks coach Mitch Ware said. "We have complete confidence in Madden."
For the season, Madden is 4 of 11 for 39 yards and has rushed 21 times for 91 yards.
Madden had his first varsity playing time near the end of a 48-28 win over Kent on Sept. 11. Two weeks later against Rice, Weatherbie inserted the sophomore for Broadwater in the third quarter.
Notwithstanding injuries, the coaching staff has been impressed with Madden. Ware recently said he hoped to get Madden more playing time because "he's got something to add."
Ware said Madden and Broadwater have essentially equal passing abilities, though Madden is the tougher runner, more able to break tackles. Last year, Madden led Navy's junior varsity squad to a 7-1 record, and as a senior in high school was undefeated as a wrestler in winning an Oklahoma state championship.
"I just wish he had a little more experience," Ware said. "As a quarterback, the more times you see different types of situations the more confident you get."
Sophomore Ed Malinowski, the team's third quarterback, will be elevated to backup, and slotback Steve Holley, Navy's starting quarterback for the first five games of last season, also will take snaps in practice this week, said Ware.
Meanwhile, Weatherbie was admitted to Anne Arundel Medical Center at about 4:30 a.m. yesterday but later released without passing the stones. His condition forced him to coach Saturday's game from the press box rather than from his usual post along the sidelines.