STORRS - The UConn football team began the season with five healthy quarterbacks on its roster. It now has three.
Needless to say the Huskies can’t afford many more injuries.
“Hopefully it doesn’t get to where I have to take a linebacker and make him a quarterback,” coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday.
UConn (1-3), which hosts South Florida on Saturday at Pratt & Whitney Stadium, is turning back to grad student Mike Beaudry to start against the Bulls. That became necessary when redshirt freshman Steven Krajewski had surgery Tuesday to repair the broken clavicle he suffered last weekend against Central Florida.
Edsall, who turned to freshman Jack Zergiotis to start three games immediately after Beaudry was first injured, admits he didn’t expect to making this many changes so early in the season.
“No. But with the nature of the game, there’s things you can’t control. When situations arise, you just have to make the decisions you have to make,” Edsall said. “Hopefully we won’t have more to make moving forward but injuries are part of the game.”
Krajewski played the final three quarters of the loss to UCF with a broken left clavicle. No one apparently knew the severity of the injury in the moment.
“After the game, when we got to the airport, Bob (Howard) told me that Steven was having trouble getting his pads off,” Edsall said of UConn’s veteran athletic trainer. “Bob did an exam on him afterwards and said they were going to do X-rays in the morning (on Sunday).”
Those tests revealed the fracture and surgery was quickly scheduled for Krajewski to repair it. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of action.
“It goes to show you how tough the kid is to play through that,” Edsall said.
As for Beaudry, it’s not clear when he was healthy enough to return to action. He was in uniform for each of the team’s last three games, though the coaches still went with Zergiotis until lifting him for Krajewski early in the UCF game.
“I bet he feels kind of like gipped, like why did he lose his spot to begin with?” UConn linebacker Ryan Gilmartin said Tuesday. “So now he’s got an opportunity, ample opportunity, to go earn it back. I’m excited for him.”
Edsall is loath to discuss injuries in almost any fashion but hinted that Beaudry wasn’t quite healed enough with whatever injury he suffered in UConn’s opener to perform at his best until recently.
“He wasn’t able to really do things those last couple of weeks,” Edsall said.
So, the pecking order for the Huskies now has Beaudry as the starter, Zergiotis now the backup, and Miles Foerster, a freshman from Amherst, Massachusetts, will be in uniform for the first time Saturday and is third string.
All of the UConn players asked Tuesday about the constant changes in signal-callers said it wouldn’t impact their play.
“During summer, that got me a good feel for all of them. I feel like whether it’s Mike, Steve, Jack, I can do well with any of them. They all can sling it well,” wide receiver Cam Ross said.
Beaudry 14-for-21 for 158 yards in his only game this season, the Huskies’ 24-21 win over Wagner in their season opener. The grad transfer from West Florida had one interception and one rushing touchdown.
Saturday night not live
Saturday’s game, which will kick off at noon, will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on CBS Sports Network.
The game, which was moved up seven hours to avoid any Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) complications, will be streamed on-line live - at www.cbssports.com/video/livestream/ - but will not be broadcast on television live. The game will air on a delayed basis on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m.