When Villanova left the field in Chestnut Hill, they were hurting, the sting of a defeat in a game that got away from them was tough, but injuries to key starters will have a lasting impact. As as many as six defensive starters from Week 1 may be held out of Villanova's game at Fordham this weekend. Some won't play again this season.
Coaches knew almost immediately that starting linebacker Pat Haggerty was done for the season when he was helped off the field in Chestnut Hill, that is confirmed. The MRI on starting safety Matt McCann was also a tough prognosis, and it seems he may be out for the count as well -- at least for four weeks.
"We've got a bunch of kids who are banged up. We lost a linebacker [Pat Haggerty] for the year, and a safety [Matt McCann]," head coach Andy Talley told Philly.com. "We were already down a player [Dillon Lucas] from the preseason. So we're going to have to move some people around, particularly in the secondary."
Lucas appeared to be nursing a knee injury, with a large black wrap encasing and immobilizing his leg on the sideline of the Boston College game.
Replacing Haggerty, most likely, will be Corey Majors, a talented sophomore who was set to receive playing time as a back-up this season. Majors was a Big 33 game selection for Pennsylvania after his senior season at Neshaminy in 2010.
Filling in for McCann, will be Jerry Miles, who played well last weekend and was slated to earn time in the secondary rotation this season. He played in all 12 games last season and five games as a freshman, totaling 36 career tackles.
On the depth chart released by Villanova for the game, the defensive line remains unchanged. Corey Majors is backed up by fellow sophomore T.J. White, Shane Harris now backs up Cameron McCurry, and C.J. Logan and Trey Johnson remain as backup corners, but switch sides of the field. There may be additional changes made on gameday, of course, and the coaching staff is not beholden to the official depth chart.
Villanova is playing an opponent who won't get much respect early on this season, but the game is a trap for a team with high expectations for the season. Even more so now that they are ailing from injuries.
The official Week 2 depth chart follows (click to enlarge) with changed noted in italics:
Updated 9/6: According to an article on Philly.com, "four starters - defensive linemen Rakim Cox and Antoine Lewis, free safety Joe Sarnese, and offensive guard Josh Bucci - missed practice time with injuries."