Dickinson State sophomore inside linebacker Jay Grosz will be out an extended amount of time after dislocating and fracturing his left elbow during Thursday nightâ€™s football game against Rocky Mountain College.
Grosz walked off the field under his own power following the extra-point attempt on Rockyâ€™s first touchdown early in the second quarter and was immediately carted off the field and taken to St. Josephâ€™s Hospital.
DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said Saturday that Grosz will miss at least 6 to 8 weeks of the season, but hopes the Mott-Regent High School graduate can return to the team before the end of the season.
â€œYou hope you can get him back late in the year, but â€¦ itâ€™s up to his bones,â€ Biesiot said. â€œEverybody heals different.â€
Biesiot said Grosz thinks the injury happened when he went up to try and block the extra-point attempt and a Rocky offensive lineman rolled over him.
Grosz missed much of hard-hitting work in preseason because of a broken left ring finger. He started Thursday alongside junior Nic Nicastro and, along with senior Jason Kraft, figured to play a major role at the inside linebacker position this season.
â€œHeâ€™s a kid who has really came on and we were looking at as a guy who was a starter,â€ Biesiot said.
Groszâ€™s injury suddenly makes DSUâ€™s inside linebacker position look very thin.
Behind Kraft and Nicastro are junior Tyler Schmidkunz, who has shown his abilities as a capable backup in the past, and redshirt freshman Kyle Watson. Biesiot said redshirt freshman Ridgeley Kraft, a Dickinson High graduate who had been playing at both linebacker and fullback in the preseason, will likely return to defense full time.
Because Rocky was more a passing threat, Biesiot said defensive back Trevor Willis played at Groszâ€™s inside linebacker spot much of Thursdayâ€™s game.
made one of the gameâ€™s key plays when he sacked Rocky quarterback Mark Desin in the end zone for a safety late in the second quarter, setting up a DSU field goal that cut the Bearsâ€™ lead to 13-12 at halftime.
Biesiot said coaches may also look to move one of the Blue Hawksâ€™ two backup outside linebackers, Zach McCoy or Matt Seibert, to the position.
â€œItâ€™s a place where we donâ€™t have a lot of bodies at right now,â€ Biesiot said. â€œWhen something like this happens, you try to get your best 11 out there.â€