Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said right tackle Pete DeSouza left the intensive care unit of a Washington hospital, a few days after undergoing nearly 12 hours of surgery on Friday to repair a fractured tibia and fibula in both legs.
Friedgen said DeSouza was stabilized and was "doing very well."
DeSouza was injured Thursday when a car slammed into him while he riding his motor scooter on campus. Friedgen said he visited with DeSouza for a half-hour on Saturday, and more than two dozen players attempted to make the trip to visit their teammate as well.
Tuesday, though, the Terrapins were upset about something else --- a cartoon in the Diamondback, the student newspaper, depicting a woman asking a football player decked out in uniform including a helmet, "I didn't think there was a game today ... "
The player replies "There isn't. But I'm afraid to hurt myself on my scooter."
"I just saw it before I came down here," said safety Kenny Tate, who was DeSouza's teammate in high school at DeMatha. "I just couldn't even comment after seeing it. It was just ... I don't know what their message was, if they were joking. What was the point of it? That was a serious matter and I don't think if that happened to them, they would want people laughing about it."
Linebacker Alex Wujciak said he usually reads the paper, which is distributed for free on campus, each morning when he has breakfast at the team house. He said word of the cartoon spread quickly among players today as they encountered each other.
"It's pretty messed up, honestly," Wujciak said. "Here's a kid, it's not his fault, it's a freak thing that happened. It was an accident, and he's lucky really to be alive. We all went there to see the accident. If you saw his scooter, you would have thought there was more than two broken legs."
DeSouza, a redshirt freshman, started three games this season for Maryland (5-2, 2-1 ACC) before the accident. The Terps won 24-21 at Boston College on Saturday as DeSouza recovered from surgery, and the team planned to present him a game ball in the hospital the next day.
DeSouza's injury was particularly jarring to Maryland's offensive line, which is typically close as a unit.
"A lot of guys are upset about that. I'm partially upset about that," tackle R.J. Dill said. "That's all I want to say about that. I don't want to get into a trash [talking] contest with the Diamondback. It's upsetting --- and I don't know if that was the girl's intent. ... What I took from the cartoon was an insensitive comment, especially at this point in time in the context [that exists] after what happened to Pete, I don't think it's appropriate. That's all I want to say about it."
Friedgen said he spoke to the Terps about keeping DeSouza in mind for the months to come, but there's little question the last six days were emotionally draining. Friedgen said the cartoon "only keeps arousing emotion in our football players" and could be a galvanizing force as Maryland prepares to play Wake Forest on Saturday.
"We're very lucky to have Pete with us," Friedgen said. "Trust me. ... The positive thing is none of his joints were injured. They're anticipating he's going to have a full recovery. So that's a miracle in itself. If he landed on his head, he probably wouldn't be here. We're pretty sensitive to the kind of jokes that are written about him."