Injuries force Owls to scrap Fan Fest scrimmage

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted August 21 2005

 

BOCA RATON A rash of injuries prompted Florida Atlantic to turn Saturday's scheduled scrimmage into a short, no-tackle affair.

Coach Howard Schnellenberger said he counted 22 players with injuries and decided a full-contact scrimmage would do more harm than good.

"We had to call an audible and get as much out of the practice we could," said Schnellenberger, who said he might have given the team the day off if Saturday had not been Fan Fest, which attracted several hundred people.

With the season opener at Kansas two weeks away, Schnellenberger said he is hoping that enough players will be back to have a final scrimmage Tuesday.

"The next two weeks are very important to us," Schnellenberger said. "We have to get the guys that are going to play the game as much work as we can."

While the list of injured players is long, only one, offensive lineman Brandon Jackson, is expected to be out for the Kansas game, Schnellenberger said.

One player who has returned from an injury was disappointed about the canceled scrimmage.

"I was kind of mad about it," said middle linebacker Shomari Earls. "Everyone was ready to come out and showcase what they had been doing."

Earls missed more than a week of practice with a hamstring injury before returning Friday.

"It makes sense," quarterback Danny Embick said about the change, though he said the team did not get a lot out of the altered format.

Embick is hoping the injury list shrinks quickly and said "We'll be ready [for Kansas] as long as we have enough guys come back."

Ted Hutton can be reached at thutton@sun-sentinel.com.