For the second straight year, Boston College faces uncertainty at quarterback late in the season.
Anthony Brown suffered an abdominal injury in Saturday’s loss to Clemson and is listed as day to day, according to Eagles coach Steve Addazio.
His status for Saturday’s trip to Florida State is up in the air.
“We will see how that is going each day, but Anthony is doing well, but I’m not a doctor,” Addazio said. “What does that exactly mean? I guess tomorrow morning I’ll get another update and be able to figure out, does he take active reps? If so, how many? And we will go from there.”
Addazio did not rule out the possibility of Brown taking the field against the Seminoles.
“I think I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said, “and we will see how it all goes.”
Untimely injuries have been an all-too-familiar circumstance for the Eagles in Addazio’s six-year tenure.
“We experienced it first-hand last year when we lost Anthony,” said Addazio. “We have been down that road. We were playing at a high, high level last year at that point in time.”
Brown missed the final three games of 2017 after sustaining a knee injury against North Carolina State just as he was beginning to blossom. After an offseason of rehab, he returned to ignite an Eagles offense that was as explosive as it had been in years, completing 58 percent of his passes for 1,573 yards and 16 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions.
Hosting a ranked opponent as a ranked team for the first time since 2007, the Eagles viewed the Clemson game as an opportunity to show how far along they were in their rebuild. But that was dashed on the first drive of the game, when 315-pound Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins corraled and pancaked Brown, forcing him to leave the game.
There were questions about whether Wilkins’s tackle was clean. Addazio said he didn’t see any malice behind it, but he figures the NCAA will look at it.
“I think it’s reasonable to say that’s probably another rule change that could occur,” Addazio said. “I’m not on that committee per se but that would make sense to me. They are trying in the NFL to really protect the quarterbacks at a high level, and I get that, they take a lot of tough shots.
“That was kind of a really unique thing, and certainly by no means any ill intent or anything like that. It was just guys trying to play hard and part of the game.”
Clemson coach Dabo Sweeney reached out to Addazio via text following the game. Wilkins also made attempts to reach out to Brown.
“Dabo is that kind of guy,” said Addazio. “I think he’s a sincere, caring guy. I think Christian is a great guy and a sincere, caring guy, and I think that was really terrific that they did that.
“We all understand you get on the field and you are battling against each other. It’s a tough sport, but at the end of the day, your thought process is you want the best for everybody.
“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt. You don’t want to inflict anything on anybody. You are just trying to do the best you can to make a play.”
Brown’s injury compounds issues for an offense still dealing with a hobbled running back in AJ Dillon, who aggravated an ankle injury in the loss to Clemson.
His status is week to week.
“AJ is really, honestly about the same as it’s been each week,” Addazio said. “I think he comes off the game, doesn’t feel great on Sundays and Mondays, and as the week goes on, we see improvement.
“I think we are trying to see if we can get to the point where we can get some real practice reps because what’s happening right now is we are not able to get any practice reps, and that affects us.
“But again, as I said Saturday, I gave a lot of credit to AJ. He’s really tried to battle through that every week. This is a very, very tough injury for a running back, and usually one that’s going to linger until you get an extended period of time where you can get beyond it.
“So he’s certainly not having the opportunity to play at the level that he wants to play at. But the fact that he is shows you the kind of toughness and determination he has to do whatever he can do for as long as he can do it to help the team?”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.