A series of minor and major injuries, scattered instances of the flu, and the absence of one key player from practice this week have left the Harvard football team at less than 100 per cent heading into tomorrow's home game versus Colgate.
"We're injured both physically and psychologically," one team member, who asked to remain unidentified, said earlier this week.
Leading the list of problems is the injury situation. Along with all the nagging injuries that accompany the team in this, the third week of the season, three starting defensive players have ailments serious enough that they might not play tomorrow.
Senior linebacker Craig Beling seems the most doubtful. Beling, who strained ligaments in his left knee against UMass last Saturday, has made remarkable progress this week, but will almost definitely not play tomorrow. Originally slated to sit out for a minimum of two weeks, Beling had virtually no swelling in his knee and made it out to a couple of practices this week.
The other doubtful starters are right defensive tackle Chuck Durst and middle guard Tom McDevitt. Durst, a sophomore, damaged the rotator cuff in his shoulder against UMass, and had to leave practice early Tuesday to rest the inflamed joint.
McDevitt, a senior, sprained an ankle last Saturday and had to miss a good deal of practicing this week. McDevitt may play with the injury against Colgate, however.
In addition to the three problems on defense, several other minor ailments plague the team. Tough second-team offensive tackle Brian Silvey will have to sit out several weeks with a cast on his damaged achilles tendon, and split end John MacLeod remains hampered with a sprained ankle.
And, of course, halfback Wayne Moore has been lost for the year with the broken ankle he sustained late in the UMass game. Wearing a cast two-thirds of the way up his right thigh, Moore was released from Stillman Infirmary yesterday after a six-day stint there.
The squad's depth has also been hurt by scattered cases of the flu and players running high temperatures. Durst, reserve defensive tackle Tom Temple, and tight end Paul Sablock, among others, have been under the weather this week.
Adding to the problems, tackle John Cosgrove, a key man on the defensive line, has missed practice this week. Cosgrove, senior, started at right tackle against Columbia, then failed to get much playing time against UMass.
After meeting with head coach Joe Restic Monday about the situation, Cosgrove went home to New Jersey for two days.
"I know he can help us," Restic said after practice yesterday, adding, "Whatever decision he makes he'll have to make himself."
Cosgrove was returning to school last night, and was unavailable for comment. Members of his family said he had come home "for personal reasons."
"He sent me a telegram wishing us good luck Saturday," team captain Steve Potysman said last night.
"We're not worrying about the injuries, or about Cos," Potysman continued. "The team's attitude is fine, and we're concentrating on Colgate," he added.