Towson coach Rob Ambrose confirmed Monday afternoon what he had initially feared. Starting left tackle Antonio Harris will miss Saturday's game at No. 7 Villanova due to an injured right knee, and he could be out for the season.
Harris hurt his knee on the first play of the third quarter in the Tigers' 21-19 win against visiting Elon on Saturday evening. He did not put any weight on his right foot as he required assistance getting to the sideline.
The redshirt freshman had made seven consecutive starts at left tackle, but Ambrose said Monday that the injury could "potentially" end Harris' season.
"There is a chance [he could return this year], but percentages aren't high," the coach said during his weekly conference call organized by the Colonial Athletic Association.
Harris, who was tied with freshman right tackle Jesus Barrio for the most starts at the same position, had been solid after opening the season as the starting left guard for the first two games. Ambrose acknowledged that Harris' absence will impact what Towson (4-5 overall, 2-3 CAA) can do.
"It limits some of the things we do based on who we're going to have to play there," Ambrose said. "We're like, 'OK, this part can't play. We can't use this piece of the car, so to speak. So we're going to have to use a different one.' We've already discussed the strengths and weaknesses of that individual, and how we can put him in the best position to be successful versus what we need to do against our opponent."
Sophomore Shayne Sullivan replaced Harris on Saturday, and the Crofton resident and Archbishop Spalding graduate could make his third start of the season at left tackle. Ambrose said Sullivan can play better than he did against the Phoenix.
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"I need to see consistency from what I know he knows in the film room to his physical actions on the field," Ambrose said. "Shayne's probably one of those guys that if I asked him a question on the board and tested him, he'd be fantastic. He'd give you the answer in the exact details of how you want it set. Just transferring that onto the field physically has been different, and that's what has made him a backup and not a starter. We need to see a better performance out of him on the field in that aspect."