At first glance, it didn't seem a big deal. Just a minor bump during the game Saturday that Ifeanyi Momah could shake off. The 6-foot-6 inch Boston College wide receiver told reporters and everyone else that he would be fine. Momah's eight receptions for 157 yards -- both career highs -- were one of the few bright spots in the Eagles' 24-17 loss to Northwestern.
All that changed this morning when an MRI of Momah's left knee revealed a torn ACL that will require surgery and sideline him for the season.
Technically, as a fifth-year senior, that also would mean the end of Momah's collegiate career. But BC officials said they would petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Momah, which has a good chance of being OK'd since the NCAA this season allowed Houston quarterback Case Keenum a sixth year of eligibility after he was sidelined for the season in the first game last season.
Momah already has one red-shirt campaign after missing the 2009 season with a knee injury.
"It's tough,'' conceded coach Frank Spaziani after being told the results of the MRI a few hours earlier. "I feel bad for Ifeanyi. He had put so much work into it. And I know it's football, but I feel bad for the kids. A senior leader, one of our captains. He's walking around totally depressed.''
For Momah, it's a frustrating roadblock in a career that has taken many twists and turns the last few years as he moved from offense to defense and back to offense, not quite sure of his role on the team but willing to help.
"He's the ultimate team player,'' said Spaziani, who said he would move sophomore Johnathan Coleman into the receiver rotation, which also will include Bobby Swigert, Alex Amidon, Coleman, and probably freshman Spiffy Evans, whom Spaziani had been hoping he could red-shirt.
"It just adds more youth to the equation,'' said Spaziani.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell