ORONO – The University of Maine football team is back in game preparation mode this week after having a bye last weekend.
The Black Bears (2-3 overall, 0-2 Colonial Athletic Association) hit the road for the fourth time in six games Saturday to face perennial league power Delaware at 6 p.m.
The hiatus may have been just what the doctor ordered for coach Jack Cosgrove’s team, which have been working around numerous injuries.
While UMaine practiced only three days last week, the team has been forced to continue its quest for improvement with some new faces in key positions.
“We kind of had to reconstruct some things – offensively, defensively and special teams – with personnel because of some injuries that we’ve had,” Cosgrove said during the weekly CAA teleconference. “We were able to get in some quality work, some competitive work that really helped us.”
Among the most notable injury victims are senior tailback Jhamal Fluellen and junior wide receiver Landis Williams.
Fluellen, who sat out the James Madison game, has an undisclosed head/neck injury and is not expected to play this week. He was at Tuesday’s practice on Morse Field, but was not wearing shoulder pads and did not take any reps with the running backs.
Fluellen’s long-term prognosis has not been determined, according to UMaine athletics spokesman Doug DeBiase.
Redshirt freshman Derek Session is listed No. 1 on the depth chart at tailback, followed by first-year player Pushaun Brown.
Williams, the Bears’ best outside receiving threat, was hurt during the first half of the victory over Stony Brook. After missing the last two games with the left foot/ankle problem, he took part in Tuesday’s workout.
Junior strong safety Brandon McLaughlin, another starter who didn’t play in the last game against Stony Brook, also has been back practicing.
UMaine hopes to be as close to full strength as possible for Saturday’s game against the Blue Hens.
Weston sidelined with injury
Former Bangor High School multisport standout Ryan Weston is out of action this fall an injury suffered during preseason football workouts.
Weston, a freshman at Bates College in Lewiston, underwent surgery this week to repair a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament. He was injured while playing tight end in a scrimmage for the Bobcats.
Weston, who plans to play football and basketball at Bates, is expected to be out until the 2009-2010 season.
At Bangor High, Weston proved himself one of the state’s best basketball big men, The 6-foot-5 center averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in less than 17 minutes per game while shooting 65 percent from the field on his way to BDN All-Maine first-team recognition.
On the football field, the two-way end was an All-Pine Tree Conference first-team choice at tight end and also earned a spot on the All-Academic squad.
Weston, who also ran track for the Rams, will have three years of eligibility remaining in both football and basketball at Division III Bates, as redshirting is not allowed.