If there was one thing TCU had working in its favor a year ago en route to a 11-1 season and a trip to the Peach Bowl, it was the uncanny ability to stay healthy. One week into the 2015 season and already TCU could be down a couple of defensive players for the rest of the season.
On Tuesday TCU head coach Gary Patterson announced starting linebacker Sammy Douglas will miss the remainder of the season due to an undisclosed injury. Patterson also suggested defensive end James McFarland could also be out for some time, even as long as the rest of the season due to a foot injury. The loss of one of these two players would be a significant loss for a defense that is already tasked with filling key spots on the depth chart this season. Losing both would be even more complicated.
Last season saw McFarland lead TCU with seven sacks. He also returned an interception for a touchdown while also recording 12 tackles for a loss. Douglas had just 17 tackles last season but he made up for a lack of stats in playing experience as a junior. Without Douglas, TCU will turn to some youth with Mike Freeze or Ty Summers continuing to fill his spot on the depth chart.
Given Patterson’s history, you would think he will find a way to work things out on defense this season to help keep the Horned Frogs in Big 12 and playoff contention. But the loss of two key defensive players like this hurts those chances a bit. How much it costs TCU remains to be seen.