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Eagles, O'Connor, sidelined with injuries

There's a few Eagles that are a little banged up, but O'Connor is the most noteworthy with the season starting in less than ten days.

Andrew Mascharka (The Eastern Echo)

The Eastern Michigan Eagles have their home opener in nine days against the Old Dominion Monarchs and it looks like there's a few injuries that are lingering on the team.

MLive's Michael Nizolek (well, was* with MLive) attended EMU Media Day last Saturday where head coach Chris Creighton addressed the injury concerns on the team. The most noteworthy of injuries is defensive lineman Pat O'Connor, whose shoulder has been bothering him dating back to spring ball and did not participate in the scrimmage on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Pat O'Connor, wide receiver Dustin Creel, defensive back Brandon Bossard, offensive lineman Darien Terrell, tight end Danny Annee, defensive lineman Mike Brown, tight end Sam Girodat, wide receiver Braylin Collins, wide receiver Kezio Snelling and defensive back Jake Krueger did not participate.

...

"We have suffered some significant injuries this week," Creighton said. "We had sort of a rash in the middle of the week, and some just early on in fluke non-contact situations."

Imagining an EMU defense without its top player is, well, not a fun thought. The team is already without senior linebacker Matt Hunter on the roster for reasons that Creighton would not give when I asked him at MAC Media Day. O'Connor is a legitimate NFL prospect and led the MAC with 7.5 sacks just last season. Nizolek said that coaches expected O'Connor to participate heading into fall camp, but that hasn't been the case and I'm not going to say that EMU fans should panic, but there's definitely more than enough room to worry about this situation.

Best case scenario: O'Connor comes back in time for the Ball State game on September 19.

Dustin Creel has had a history of injuries, so it's more annoying than anything to see him still banged up. Darien Terrell is one of the more experienced linemen EMU has and rushing one of the other young linemen in their freshman and redshirt-freshman into more playing time than necessary isn't the most desirable of options, but that's football for you.

Below is the press conference at EMU Media Day following the scrimmage, courtesy of EMU Athletics: