Two games into the football season, Eastern Washington is dealing with more than its share of injuries.
The latest setbacks came during the Eagles’ 50-44 overtime loss Saturday at North Dakota State, where starting roverback Cole Karstetter was lost for the season and All-American wide receiver Cooper Kupp missed the second half with sprained shoulder.
The biggest blow is the loss of Karstetter, a redshirt sophomore from Spokane who suffered a ruptured Achilles and is out for the year after making his fifth collegiate start.
That puts senior J.J. Njoku atop the depth chart at rover for Saturday’s home opener against Northern Iowa, with junior John Kreifels listed as the top backup.
Kupp suffered a Grade 1 shoulder separation – the least-serious type. That means a simple sprain (stretched or partly torn) to the acromioclavicular, or AC joint, at the top of the shoulder. There is no separation of bones.
Kupp is questionable for Saturday, coach Beau Baldwin said Monday afternoon.
“He’s practiced so much that we’ll obviously be very smart with what happens in practice this week,” Baldwin said. “And then we’ll get a feel closer to game time with where he is with his shoulder and AC joint.”
The Eagles also lost starting offensive guard Chris Schlichting to a shoulder injury suffered at NDSU.
Injuries bedeviled Eastern even before the NDSU game, which the Eagles played without their two starting linebackers, senior Miquiyah Zamora (hamstring) and Alek Kacmarcik (concussion), and nose tackle Matt Sommer (knee).
Sommer, Zamora, Kacmarcik and Schlichting are listed as questionable for Saturday.
Previously, defensive end Nick Foerstel (knee) is out for the year because of an injury suffered the first week of spring practices, and defensive end Conner Baumann (foot) is still recovering from an injury he suffered in the spring.