The injury bug continues to bite at the knees of ACC players, and Boston College wide receiver Bobby Swigert is the latest victim.
Swigert injured his left knee during the team’s final preseason scrimmage on Wednesday and will miss “several” weeks. No details were given about the type of injury, the extent of the damage, or if surgery would be necessary, although the general timetable provided by BC suggests it’s not severe enough to be season-ending.
The junior was the Eagles’ leading receiver in each of the last two seasons, with 44 receptions for 470 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. Swigert appeared in every game last season and became quarterback Chase Rettig‘s favorite target last season, after fifth-year senior Ifeanyi Momah injured his knee during the season opener.
Swigert is the third starter who’ll be watching from the sidelines when the Eagles open the season against Miami on Sept. 1.
Veteran tight end Chris Pantale is out 6-8 weeks with a broken foot suffered earlier this month. A 38-game starter, Pantale is one of the most experienced players in the entire ACC. He had 21 catches for 236 yards and three touchdowns in 2011, a career-low in the conference’s worst total and scoring offense.
Pantale’s injury has had a significant impact on the depth chart. His backup, junior Mike Naples, has one career reception – which is one more than any of the other tight ends on the roster. Naples hasn’t been completely healthy through preseason camp either, so Boston College coach Frank Spaziani moved redshirt offensive lineman Dave Bowen to tight end as another backup.
Sophomore cornerback Al Louis-Jean is also nursing a broken foot and will be out for the first part of the 2012 season. Louis-Jean played in 10 games as a true freshman and was competing for a starting role.
“It creates a little depth issue,” Spaziani said, noting that true freshman Bryce Jones could get playing time while Louis-Jean recovers.
The depth issue could become a big one, especially if any other players are lost to injury. BC needs all the help it can get to reverse last year’s disastrous 4-8 finish, but it’ll be a tall order to improve that record (and save Spaziani’s job) with key playmakers like Swigert and Pantale on the sidelines.