Right guard Jake Schunke's injury forces Towson to shuffle O-line again

The offensive line that started Towson’s past two games won’t be the same when the team travels to play Colonial Athletic Association opponent James Madison on Saturday.

Junior right guard Jake Schunke suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s 14-3 loss to Stony Brook and did not return for the Tigers (2-4 overall and 0-2 in the league). Coach Rob Ambrose did not have a timetable for his return.

If Schunke, who has started five of six games at right guard, is unavailable against the Dukes (3-3, 1-2), sophomore Shayne Sullivan, who replaced Schunke, is expected to become the eighth different starter on the offensive line this season.

“He did OK,” Ambrose said of Sullivan. “He had been repping behind [sophomore left guard] Sam Evans and moving around with him a little bit. So getting wet at the guard spot wasn’t completely foreign to him, and he’s been around with the expectations and knowledge there. But it’s a little bit different inside than it is outside with a [few] more moving parts. So hopefully, we’ll keep moving with him and his experience will benefit us in some way.”

The starting offensive line in the last three games had featured redshirt freshman left tackle Antonio Harris, Evans, sophomore center Amos Campbell, Schunke and freshman right tackle Jesus Barrio. Ambrose acknowledged that the absence of Schunke disrupts the chemistry the front five had established.

“Losing one of these guys really hurts continuity, conversation, communication and understanding, and that showed itself in the second half both in the run and pass,” he said. “Hopefully, with a week of practice, we’ll get better at it.”

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