The spring has not brought much relief to Wake Forest in the injury department.
Several projected starters are expected to miss all or parts of spring practice, which begins March 19. Offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke said in telephone interview that he didn't expect to see receiver Michael Campanaro, starting tackles Steven Chase, Colin Summers or starting guard Antonio Ford participating in drills.
Lobotzke said, "'Camp' is going to have some ankle surgery on a bone chip floating around so we’re going to miss him."
Chase (knee), Summers (concussion) and Ford (leg) are still rehabbing injuries sustained last season, when the Deacs saw an unprecedented number of guys go down on their offensive line. In all, Wake Forest lost nine offensive linemen throughout the course of 2012, including all five players it had moved over from the defensive line.
That is why one of the biggest priorities heading into spring was finding stability in the trenches. But Wake is going to have to wait until the fall at the earliest to begin working on its biggest offensive question mark.
"Even though we have high hopes for next season, spring ball’s going to be tough," Lobotzke said. "Right now, we have a guaranteed seven offensive linemen for spring ball. We’re hoping for eight, but hopefully by next season we’ll have a full complement of guys out there healthy with Antonio, Colin and Steven Chase.
"I wish it was better than that, I wish it was cleaner than that. We were thinking if those five guys can go through spring together and Tanner [Price] could build confidence with them -- but it’s not going to happen. We’re going to have to have a great August I think. Because right now three of the guys we’re counting on to be in our top five will not be out there this spring."
Lobotzke added the team is still unsure whether Summers will be able to resume his career because of lingering affects from a concussion.
While Wake could take a woe-is-me attitude, that is certainly not the case. The flip side is the ability to try to build some depth for this season, to avoid the nightmare that was 2012.
"It opens the door for young guys," Lobotzke said. "Dylan Intemann played as a freshman last year because of injury. Maybe this is the spring Dylan asserts himself, and says, ‘I’m going to take Colin’s job from him. I’m going to outplay him and I’m going to be the guy at right tackle.’ Maybe we can build O-line depth because of these spring injuries and maybe we can get some young guys to step up. That would be a great side benefit with Steve, Antonio and Colin not being able to take spring reps."
Lobotzke also said a few other players are injured heading into spring and their status is up in the air: reserve offensive lineman Will Smith (knee), tight end Neil Basford (Achilles') and receiver Matt James (foot).
"A lot of the names we’re counting on won’t be out there for spring," Lobotzke said. "The biggest problem is putting 11 bodies out there, but we’ve got a lot of young guys that will get a shot."