With defensive end Kasim Edebali and defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey both doubtful for Saturday's game against Clemson, the Eagles defensive line will be dramatically thinner.
Edebali is nursing a shoulder injury while Ramsey is again dealing with left foot issues and will sit out a second straight game after missing 10 games last season with plantar fasciitis.
Sophomore tackle Dominic Appiah will start in Ramsey's place and sophomore Max Ricci will play behind him. Sophomore Brian Mihalik will start at defensive end and redshirt freshman Connor Wujciak will move up the two-deep.
Edebali got his junior season off to a fast start notching a team-high 1.5 sacks and leading all Eagles defensive lineman in tackles with 13 through the first three games.
"We're better off with those guys there, but once again it's next man up," said Eagles coach Frank Spaziani. "It becomes a depth issue. Obviously, they're starters for a reason: They're better. But we'll do a couple different things Xs and Os."
Lingering effects from a preseason leg injury will also force running back Tahj Kimble to miss Saturday's game. Kimble has emerged as a receiving threat out of the backfield, catching 10 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.
"It's been nagging him before," Spaziani said. "Then he [re-aggravated] it in practice. I'm not sure if it was last week or not. But it's always been every week he's been on the list getting treated and stuff."
The Eagles were eager to get receiver Bobby Swigert back, but they'll also have senior wideout Colin Larmond back on the field after being sidelined the past two games.
"He has been practicing the last couple weeks," Spaziani said. "He practiced in the offweek. He went the whole week. He went this week."
The brightest spot on the injury front was tight end Chris Pantale progressing enough to have his walking boot removed. He was expected to miss six to eight weeks after breaking his foot in an early August practice.
"He's doing some stuff," Spaziani said. "He just got out of the boot two or three days ago, and they've got him doing some early running, stuff like that. He's not ready for practice running."
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell