Temple's Alex Wells among players hurt in opener

Defensive back Alex Wells suffered what coach Matt Rhule called a "tear in his knee." CLEM MURRAY / Staff
Defensive back Alex Wells suffered what coach Matt Rhule called a "tear in his knee." CLEM MURRAY / Staff
Posted: September 03, 2014

Temple didn't emerge from its victory over Vanderbilt on Thursday unscathed.

The Owls suffered a number of injuries in their season-opening 37-7 rout of the Commodores, the most notable being what coach Matt Rhule described as a "tear in his knee" when describing free safety Alex Wells' injury.

Rhule didn't elaborate too much on the situation, but it sounded very serious.

"I don't know the extent of things, but with it being the Labor Day weekend we are trying to get him seen. He'll be out for several weeks, at least six weeks if not longer," said Rhule, speaking on his weekly American Athletic Conference media call.

Wells, a junior, was a first-team National Junior College Athletic Association all-American at ASA College before enrolling at Temple.

Rhule also said that Nate L. Smith, Wells' backup, also suffered a leg injury, as did starting strong safety Boye Aromire.

"If we were to play today he wouldn't play so we'll just have to wait and see," Rhule said of Smith. "Him and Boye. I'm not sure either one of them can play to be quite honest."

Two other players who would not play if the Owls had a game today are starting wide receivers Jalen Fitzpatrick and John Christopher.

The Owls host Navy at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in their home opener. The Midshipmen, with their dangerous triple-option offense, are coming off a 34-17 loss to No. 6 Ohio State in which they rushed for 370 yards.

The news on the offensive side of the ball wasn't very good, either. Rhule said that starting receivers Jalen Fitzpatrick and John Christopher suffered injuries that held them out of practice on Monday.

"There are quite a few guys at those skill positions who, if we had a game today, would not play," Rhule said.

Notes. Defensive back Tavon Young earned American Athletic Conference defensive player of the week honors on Monday. Young, who last season had one of Temple's three interceptions, picked off two that led to Temple scores in the win over Vanderbilt. . . . Quarterback P.J. Walker also picked up an honorable mention. Walker completed 23 of 34 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown. . . . Defensive tackle Averee Robinson was named the College Football Performance national defensive performer of the week. Robinson recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown.


jmitchell@philly.com

@JmitchInquirer

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