Well, it happened. After weeks of wondering what would happen the UMass Minutemen have ruled out star senior tight end Rob Blanchflower for Saturday's game against Wisconsin, per Matt Vatour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Charley Molnar had said that his senior captain would be evaluated on a daily basis leading up to their season opener and following Monday's practice he officially ruled out his starting tight end.
Blanchflower out for Wisconsin game according to Molnar. Ricardo Miller will start at TE for UMass— Matt Vautour (@GazetteUMass) August 26, 2013
Ricardo Miller, a fifth year graduate transfer from Michigan, will get his first FBS start on Saturday in Blanchflower's place. Molnar had this to say about the decision, according to Vatour.
"We’re going to rule him out for Saturday," Molnar said. "He’s not going to play. After talking to him today and where he’s at, it’s just not worth it. We have goals in mind for the season. Blanch is part of us reaching those goals. We’re going to have to go without him."
It's clear that Molnar is taking the long-term approach with Blanchflower and has backed that up in many of his comments throughout the preseason. In what will likely be a blowout loss, there is no sense risking the health of such an important player over the long term.
Sophomore Derek Beck will slide up to No. 2 on the tight end depth chart.