Derek Mason had some bad news for Vanderbilt Commodores fans on Thursday. For the second year in a row, offensive lineman Andrew Jelks and quarterback Shawn Stankavage will miss the season due to injury.
The nature of the injuries was not disclosed, and it isn’t clear if (in either case) it was the same injury that caused them to miss the 2015 season. While Jelks is a fifth-year senior, he can apply for a sixth year of eligibility if he wants to return in 2017 (assuming he’s able to play) after missing 2015 and now 2016 with injuries. Stankavage likewise can apply for a sixth year when he gets to that point, though he’s currently only a sophomore.
How will the injuries affect the depth chart? In Stankavage’s case, he was probably going to be the third-string QB behind Kyle Shurmur and Wade Freebeck. It means that true freshman Deuce Wallace is one step closer to getting playing time, in the “everybody gets hurt” disaster scenario.
Jelks, meanwhile, was penciled in as a starter on the offensive line. His injury likely solidifies fellow senior Barrett Gouger as the starting center, while one of a couple of underclassmen (Justin Skule or Jared Southers) will probably start at the tackle spot opposite Will Holden.
This certainly isn’t the kind of news we wanted to hear a week into fall camp. Here’s hoping that both men can make a full recovery.