Worrilow, Pierce, Hurley heal many injuries during bye
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 18:10
Each day begins at 6:30 a.m. for sophomore quarterback Trent Hurley. As most of the campus’ students sleep, Hurley is on his way to the training room to get treatment on his injured left foot.
An hour later Hurley is off to class for a few hours before returning to the training room for a second treatment. He then heads to the practice field.
Hurley injured his foot when the Hens played William & Mary on Sept. 22. Head coach K.C. Keeler said he should have given Hurley time off to heal his foot then.
“To re-do this, in hindsight, we wish we would have taken the New Hampshire game and said, ‘You are not playing,’ and put him in a cast and try to get him close to 100 percent,” Keeler said. “But the way he played the first four games, it’s tough to do that.”
The bye week could not have come at a better time for Delaware, as the Hens are fighting injuries at just about every position. Following Delaware’s game against Maine on Oct. 6, Hurley’s foot was placed in a cast for eight days.
The cast allowed his foot to heal close to 100 percent. It was taken off Sunday, and Hurley has returned to the practice field.
“It is part of football,” Hurley said. “Football is a physical game, and you are going to get banged up during the season. You can’t get down on yourself. You need to stay positive.”
Unfortunately for the Hens, Hurley is not the only player to be injured this season. Junior running back Andrew Pierce, who became just the fourth running back in Delaware history to rush for over 3,000 career yards, pulled his hamstring in practice the week of the Maine game and saw very limited action in the contest.
Like Hurley, Pierce has been spending extra time in the training room rehabbing his injury. His day typically begins in the warm whirlpool tub, followed by numerous stretches and exercises to strengthen his hamstring. He then heads out to the practice field early to do extra drills with a small group of players. After practice, he is back in the training room icing his leg and working to get back on the field.
“I am trying to do everything I can to get back on Tuesday,” Pierce said. “Start running and do everything I need to do [to] get ready to play on Saturday.”
In total, 17 scholarship players did not play for the Hens against Maine, and 14 scholarship players are out for the year with injuries.
At his Monday press conference, Keeler said Paul Worrilow was hurt in practice during the team’s bye week. He said Worrilow will act as an extra coach during the week, helping prepare the other linebackers for the Hens’ upcoming game.
Keeler said he is unsure if the senior linebacker can return for this weekend’s game, but if any player can, it would be Worrilow. Despite the physical pains for the Hens, Keeler said he is confident that Delaware can continue to play at a high level.
“I acknowledge we have injuries, but I know the talent we have so we have no excuses,” Keeler said. “We are not experienced, but we have the talent.”
Keeler has called upon younger, inexperienced players to step up and fill the voids, a situation similar to the 2008 season during which the Hens lost several starters to injury. According to Keeler, the main difference between this season and 2008 is Delaware is able to put much higher quality of players on the field this year.
Players like redshirt freshman linebacker Jeff Williams and sophomore wide receiver Michael Johnson have made significant impacts through the first six weeks of the season.
Williams is third on the team in tackles and Johnson is first in recieving yards for all players.
While Keeler said he is excited for the future, his focus is still on the remaining five games on the schedule. Both Keeler and Worrilow said it is important to take each game individually.
“We can’t think too far ahead,” Worrilow said. “If we lose this weekend that could be the whole season, so we have to get a win [against] Rhode Island no matter what it takes.”
The Hens return to action this Saturday against Rhode Island for Homecoming. They then go on to play four of the top six teams in the CAA with games against Old Dominion, Towson, Richmond and Villanova.
Worrilow said he expects the Hens to come together and finish the rest of the season strong after stumbling in the last two games.