The University of Delaware has had an injury-plagued first half of the 2012 campaign. Twelve men who have topped head coach K.C. Keeler’s depth chart have or are about to miss at least a game so far this season. During a practice in the middle of the Hens’ scheduled week off, Delaware almost suffered its most disastrous loss to date.
Linebacker Paul Worrilow was carted off the field on Thursday with what appeared to be a very serious knee injury. Everyone feared the worst, but MRI results handed Keeler his first piece of good news in at least three weeks.
“We dodged a big bullet because when Paul went down everyone originally thought it might be an ACL,” Keeler said. “Especially the way he was taken off the field. But by all indications it’s similar to what Nijah White had.”
White missed the second half of the season-opener against West Chester and then the subsequent two games versus Delaware State and Bucknell with what the Hens called at the time a relatively minor knee issue.
According to Keeler, he could have been back in time for the Bucknell game, but sat out that game as a precaution. So Worrilow should be able to get back in time for Delaware’s trip to Old Dominion on October 27.
In fact, the doctors even hinted to Keeler that Worrilow’s injury is not as severe as White’s was.
“There’s a chance he could make it for this week,” Keeler said. “If anyone could make it back, it would be Paul Worrilow.”
Assuming he is not healthy enough to play on Saturday however, the four-year starter will still play a significant role in Keeler’s game plan against Rhode Island.
“He and I discussed that he really needs to do a great job with the young linebackers with video,” the head coach said. “He’s like an extra coach, and this is when you earn your captain’s stripes, when things like this happen. And [he will] because he is a warrior.”
Worrilow will have to focus much of his film room and practice attention on Kyle Gayle, the man who will temporarily fill his shoes at middle linebacker.
Gayle was in the mix for significant playing time in training camp after the loss of Kyle Hunte to a season-ending injury, but was beaten out by Jeff Williams and Patrick Callaway. He has all kinds of ability, but lacks consistency. It should be interesting to see whether a week of lessons on attention to detail from a perfectionist like Worrilow might aid the sophomore in that area.
Replacing Worrilow’s production certainly won’t be easy, but the Hens know how lucky they are to only be doing it for one week rather than the rest of the season. Maybe it is a sign that Delaware’s luck is set to improve.