BOCA RATON – FAU’s already depleted offensive line suffered another blow this weekend with the loss of guard Tarrick Thomas.
“Unfortunately he’s going to be out for the season,” FAU coach Charlie Partridge said.
Thomas incurred an apparent knee injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss to Ball St. By the end of the game he was on sideline wearing street clothes and walking with the aid of crutches.
A redshirt freshman, Thomas was one of only two offensive linemen to start every game this season and was the only one to start every game at the same position. Dillon DeBoer started the first two games at left tackle before moving back to center for the two most recent games.
Thomas didn’t figure to be a starter this season but was elevated to the role when a motor scooter accident ended left tackle Reggie Bain’s season two weeks before the opener. Bain’s injury forced FAU to shuffle its line, moving guard Roman Fernandez to center and opening a starting spot for Thomas.
Fernandez missed the last two games because of an undisclosed injury suffered against Miami in the season’s second week. The Owls also lost starting right tackle Kelly Parfitt in that game.
Partridge said on Monday that Fernandez and Parfitt were “day-to-day” and that he was hopeful both would be able to play on Saturday at FIU – essentially the same thing he said last week.
With Thomas sidelined, FAU inserted Jack Breshears at left guard. Brandon Walton could also factor into the position this week.
FAU ended Saturday’s game with Antonyo Woods at left tackle, Breshears at left guard, DeBoer at center, Jakobi Smith at right guard and walk-on Matt Weiner at right tackle. Of that group, only DeBoer and Woods were projected as starters following fall camp.
Woods broke camp as the starting right guard, but missed the season-opener because of an undisclosed injury.
Saturday’s game was Weiner’s first since suffering an injury of his own in the season-opener.
FAU has yet to start the same five players along the offensive line in any two games this season.