Wednesday Wire: Worries on the Line

Posted Oct 15, 2003

Today's newswire offers more information on possible injuries to starting offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara and Jeff Faine. will provide updates on the situation throughout the day.


Indications from the morning newswire are a mixed bag, but we do now have some local media confirmation regarding injuries to C Jeff Faine and C/G Shaun O'Hara.

The Plain Dealer, Canton Repository, and Lake County News-Herald are all reporting that both players are likely to be out due to knee injuries. The Akron Beacon-Journal is being more cautious, and offers only that Davis will have more information on possible injuries to Faine and Zukauskas on Wednesday. The Plain Dealer and Canton Repository are both quoting a "team source". The News-Herald did not state the nature of their source.

Grossi notes that the team's spokesman has not confirmed the report, and Doerschuck states that Butch Davis was unavailable on Tuesday for follow-up. It is also possible that all sources reporting the information may be speaking to the same individual.

Still, when this many local news outlets are singing the same tune, it is tough to dismiss the report. This is particularly true when it comes from respected beat writers like Tony Grossi and Steve Doerschuck,

Assuming the story is true, the next question is "what next?"

In all probability, Melvin Fowler would come off the inactive list to start at center. Fowler had a starting opportunity earlier this year, but moved all the way to the inactive list due to the coaching staff's evaluation of his performance. Chad Beasley gave O'Hara a breather at several points on Sunday and would be a possibility to start in his place. Less likely, but still possible, is that Stokes would move back in to guard and that Joaquin Gonzalez would be given an opportunity to start at tackle.

Enoch Demar and Craig Osika are both with the team, although neither has been activated yet during the regular season. It the offensive line is indeed getting as thin as these reports indicate, it is likely one or both would be active for the game this Sunday. will provide coverage throughout the day today as the Berea facility is re-opened and the first official injury report is issued this afternoon.

- AB

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