There's a laundry list, and it's not the kind of list any coach likes to see. It's the one consisting of players who have had seasons end due to injury. And while we don't want to say some players getting injured are more significant than any other, there's a certain amount of angst when a Steve Octavien, Bo Ruud, Cody Glenn or Zack Bowman goes down for the count.
These are considered to be big time players, who, as they saying goes, make big time plays when given those big time opportunities.
Yeah, enough with the melodramatics.
Nobody wants to lose a starter, and optimism was running high as Zack Bowman, coming off the ACL tear over a year ago, was eager and awaiting his chance to return to the field. Almost 100 percent back from that injury, he was all the way back in shape, and almost completely back when it came to cutting, jumping and going for the ball.
Then, in a freakish accident, and in a non-contact seven-on-seven drill even, Bowman's knee collided with that of another receiver, and when the dust settled, it was estimated it would be 4 ½ to 6 months before Bowman would step on the field again following a rupture to his patellar tendon.
If you are counting down the days before the regular season, it's five months away. And we don't know how long it will be before Bowman can even put pressure on that leg much less be able to work out with it and get back into shape……again.
Those are long odds, even for someone who has had experience in coming back from long odds before. But don't tell that to defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove. He knows what kind of player and more importantly, person, Bowman is. "He'll be back before you know it," Cosgrove said confidently. "He'll be back before everyone thinks he'll be back."
The first thing you are going to think when you hear that is that this is a coach hoping beyond hope that Bowman will indeed be back, and he'll keep telling himself that until he knows differently. But for the fourth year D.C., he isn't saying that, because he wishes it. He is saying that, because he's seen this young man do it before. "I know Zac and I know how important it is to him to be out there," Cosgrove said. "I'm not saying it's going to happen, but if anyone can make it happen, Zack can."
As all coaches are wont to do, and basically have to do in this particular type of circumstance, there isn't any time wasted on lamenting over what you have lost. A coach instead has to look at what he has and now look at this in a positive way. Bowman is out. OK, that's bad, but the good side now is, those who might not have gotten the reps over this important time, can get perhaps more than they ever imagined. "This gives us a chance to develop these younger guys this spring," he said.
One of those younger guys is redshirt freshman Anthony West, who prior to this spring session beginning, was moved from corner to safety. Following Bowman's injury, however, he was moved back. He'll join senior cornerbacks Cortney Grixby, Andre Jones and Tyler Kester, along with junior college transfer Armando Murillo.
But don't count out Bowman just yet.
Coach Cosgrove reiterated that while he understands the worry fans might have with his perceived absence this up-coming season, nobody should be counting out the stellar DB just yet. "I can understand it," Cosgrove said of fans panicking a bit at the thought of losing Bowman for the year. "He's a tremendous football player. We all have tremendous respect for him – the coaches, the players, the media and the fans (but) I know Zac. I know Zack's work ethic and I think he'll be back before anyone expects him to be back."