See the headline? That seems to be an increasingly popular question for Maryland football fans to ask.
I'll start this off with a caveat: It's difficult to fully ascertain solid comparable numbers for multiple schools when (a) The rosters are so big and (b) The information isn't as easily obtainable. In basketball, it isn't hard to figure out precisely who would do what under optimal circumstances. In football, that's not always the case.
But one thing is sort of glaring: Maryland might have less than 60 players who are (a) Healthy and (b) Not redshirt candidates when it plays Florida International on Saturday.
The Terrapins have 82 scholarship players. Take out the 16 true freshmen who haven't played, and it's down to 66 guys.
Now take away Lansford Watson, Ben Pooler, Marcus Whitfield, C.J. Brown and (almost certainly) Justin Gilbert. They will all probably be declared out later today. Down to 61.
Then there's guys who there is some reason to believe won't be available this week. Gary Douglas, Devonte Campbell and Emani Lee-Odai missed Saturday's loss at West Virginia with injuries. Danny O'Brien is ailing. Darin Drakeford has some sort of shoulder injury, but it didn't knock him off the depth chart.
That might be another five guys --- potentially reducing the available scholarship players to 56.
Of course, this isn't a new phenomenon. Memory suggests injuries ravaged the Terps in 2007 and 2009 (which they did), not so much in 2006 and 2008 ('06 seems certain, '08 not so much). The best way to figure this out is to go back to the record book and try to create some statistical cross-over with hockey: Identify how many man-games Maryland has lost in the last five years among its scholarship players.
Here goes (*-starter or projected starter if healthy; injured true freshmen not included unless they played at some point that season):
2005 (67 games, 34 by projected starters)
Josh Allen* 11, Robert Armstrong 11, Erin Henderson* 11, Stephon Heyer* 11, Obi Egekeze 8, Garrick Clig 3, Matt Deese 3, Keon Lattimore 3, Tim Cesa 2, Drew Weatherly 2, D'Qwell Jackson* 1, Dre Moore 1
2006 (76, 16 by projected starters)
Deege Galt 13, Jermaine Lemons 13, Jamari McCollough 13, Drew Weatherly* 9, Anthony Wiseman 8, Omarr Savage 6, Tim Cesa* 5, J.P. Humber 5, Garrick Clig 1, Andrew Crummey* 1, Dane Randolph 1, Donnie Woods* 1
2007 (73, 31 by projected starters)
Alex Wujciak* 13, Rick Costa 7, Richard Taylor 7, Mack Frost 6, Morgan Green 6, Andrew Crummey* 5, Jaimie Thomas* 5, Chase Bullock 4, Danny Oquendo 4, Dan Gronkowski* 3, Travis Ivey 3, LaQuan Williams 3, Jordan Steffy* 2, Nolan Carroll 1, Erin Henderson* 1, Cory Jackson* 1, Keon Lattimore* 1, Da'Rel Scott 1
2008 (94, 21 by projected starters)
Tyler Bowen 13, Richard Taylor 10, Dominique Herald 9, Ben Pooler 9, LaQuan Williams 9, Jordan Steffy* 8, Kevin Barnes* 6, Joe Faiella 5, Matt Furstenburg 4, Travis Ivey 4, Nolan Carroll 3, Mack Frost* 3, Adrian Moten 3, Terrell Skinner* 2, Stephen St. John 2, Cameron Chism 1, Darrius Heyward-Bey* 1, Quintin McCree 1, Da'Rel Scott* 1
2009 (74, 34 by projected starters)
Tyler Bowen 10, Nolan Carroll* 10, Joe Vellano 6, Travis Baltz* 5, Bennett Fulper* 5, Caleb Porzel 5, Da'Rel Scott* 5, Bruce Campbell* 3, Isaiah Ross 3, Gary Douglas 2, Demetrius Hartsfield* 2, Masengo Kabongo 2, Tony Logan 2, Jamari McCollough* 2, Kenny Tate 2, Chris Turner* 2, Lamar Young 2, Kerry Boykins 1, Matt Furstenburg 1, Morgan Green 1, Carl Russell 1, Stephen St. John 1, Lansford Watson 1
2010 (23, 5 by projected starters)
De'Onte Arnett 3, Devonte Campbell* 3, Ben Pooler 3, Lansford Watson 3, Gary Douglas 2, Nick Ferrara* 2, Taylor Watson 2, Will Yeatman 2, C.J. Brown 1, Emani Lee-Odai 1, Marcus Whitfield 1
Well, the obvious one is relying strictly on man-games as a metric is too simplistic. Maryland lost 20 more games to injury in 2008 than it did in either '07 or '09, but that was offset by the relative health of the starters on that Humanitarian Bowl team.
Next, Maryland is on pace for a replica of 2008 --- lots of games lost, with a concentration among its reserves. Of course, Gilbert's injury will be a nasty blow. With just Pooler, Whitfield and Lansford Watson, Maryland will get to 50 man-games lost. Toss in Brown and Gilbert, and that probably gets the Terps to a minimum of 60 man-games lost.
Finally, Maryland had one season in the past five in which there was virtually no "If only they had so-and-so ..." moments, and that was in 2006. With Gilbert down and quarterbacks disappearing quickly, it seems doubtful 2010 will join '06 in such favorable company --- and keep the questions coming about why it seems like the Terps have so many injury issues almost every year.