The University of Massachusetts football team suffered a major blow Monday when the school announced that quarterback Kellen Pagel will be sidelined indefinitely because of post-concussion symptoms.
Pagel had been absent from team drills throughout training camp, but continued to insist that nothing was physically wrong. He missed two games last season because of a concussion after transferring from Bowling Green, but entered 2012 as the No. 1 quarterback in the Minutemen’s first season in the Football Bowl Subdivision and Mid-American Conference.
“We want to be extremely careful with Kellen and his well-being,” first-year coach Charley Molnar said in a statement. “After consultation with our team doctors, Kellen’s doctor, and our athletic training staff, we have decided that we will sit him out until he is symptom-free.”
Pagel finished 2011 with 1,725 passing yards, 9 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions as UMass finished 5-6, losing four of its last five.
Redshirt freshman Mike Wegzyn and true freshman A.J. Doyle of Catholic Memorial High entered fall camp as Pagel’s backups. Wegzyn has been receiving first-team reps in practices, and likely will be the starter when UMass opens its season at UConn Aug. 30, according to multiple reports.
As for Pagel, his return is uncertain. With increased awareness surrounding football-related concussions, the Minutemen plan to take their time to ensure their QB’s safety.
“There is no timetable for his return as this can be a complex recovery,” Molnar said in the statement. “Kellen will continue his treatments in conjunction with the doctors and our athletic training staff.”Alex Prewitt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt.