The Maryland Terrapins have lost all their roster quarterbacks to injuries, three of them to ACL tears, and now the injury bug, formerly known as the AMQBHG (Angry Maryland Quarterback Hating God) has moved on to the defense.
Hartsfield is the leading tackler on Maryland’s defense, with 78 stops, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and an interception in 2012. His 338 career tackles are tenth among active players nationally, and 15th on Maryland’s all-time list.
Hartsfield, or “Meat,” was selected as a team captain before the season and has been the leader on greatly-improved Maryland defense, which is second in the ACC, behind only Florida State.
He becomes the fourth or fifth Maryland player to suffer a torn ACL this season. Quarterback C.J. Brown went down during preseason, and freshman quarterbacks Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe were injured in back to back weeks, just before Hartsfield. Defensive end Andre Monroe also suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason but the school never confirmed that it was an ACL.
After Hartsfield’s injury was announced, The Washington Times‘ Patrick Stevens pointed out that in the last two seasons, four of Maryland’s eight team captains have suffered season-ending injuries. Last year, offensive lineman Anthony Gonnella and linebacker Kenneth Tate both had their seasons cut short with knee injuries. This year, it was Hartsfield and Brown.
Generally, the recovery time from ACL injuries is anywhere from six to twelve months, depending on the severity of the injury. The timing of Hartsfield’s injury, near the end of his senior season, could be a big hit to his NFL draft stock. Various projections had him ranked anywhere between 20 and 30 among linebackers, but the injury will prevent him from making a late-season push or impressing scouts at the Combine.
The rash of injuries in College Park has been hard to believe, but senior defensive end A.J. Francis isn’t buying in to conspiracy theories about AMQBHG or blaming Byrd Stadium’s new turf for the Terps’ bad luck.
Football is violent… Ppl get injured… It happens. Coaches, Strength & Conditioning, Turf Field, none of that has anything to do with it.
— A.J. Francis (@The_Franchyze) November 5, 2012
He’s right, football is a violent sport, but the uptick in serious knee injuries around the nation, and especially at Maryland, is cause for concern.