If you are a Boston College football fan, don't count on linebacker Brian Toal playing this season.
"I won't play him unless he's 100 percent," said coach Jeff Jagodzinski yesterday. "And he's not there. We want him to get completely healthy."
"Completely healthy" is the operative phrase. Toal, a 6-foot, 232-pound senior, hasn't been completely healthy since his freshman season, as he endured a series of shoulder and neck injuries. The most serious was a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which was surgically repaired in March. Toal also had his appendix removed last winter.
Originally, the timetable for his recovery was the end of the summer, but when doctors operated on Toal's shoulder, they found more damage than they had expected.
Toal also concedes he might be better off being redshirted, spending his time in the weight room and working to get healthy.
"We're deep at linebacker," said Jagodzinski.
With Toal sidelined, the Eagles will rely on seniors Jolonn Dunbar and Tyronne Pruitt, junior Robert Francois, and sophomore Mark Herzlich.
Once he recovers, Toal will have options. He can decide to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft next spring or he can finish his college career in 2008 and use that as a springboard to the pros.