ANNAPOLIS —- Alexander Teich‘s suspension is over after a week.
The senior fullback returned to practice for Navy on Monday, and coach Ken Niumatalolo said Teich would play Saturday at Rutgers.
“If some people heard why I suspended him, I guarantee you no one in the country suspended him for what he did,” Niumatalolo said. “It’s a steep price that he paid.”
Niumatalolo benched Teich, Navy’s offensive captain, for “some leadership stuff and things he needs to address” last week. Navy fell to 2-3 with a 63-35 loss to Southern Mississippi in Teich’s absence.
Teich said he believed the suspension was warranted, but it didn’t make the conversation with Niumatalolo about it any easier.
“Tears; I was heartbroken,” Teich said. “It was like putting a bullet through my heart when he told me that. You’re so dedicated to what you’re doing here and to have that taken away hurt.”
Teich has 408 yards and a touchdown, and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Delvin Diggs rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s loss.
Niumatalolo said there was “no doubt” Teich would re-assume his starting role when the Midshipmen visit Rutgers (4-1) on Saturday. And after a one-game hiatus, Teich is eager to help lift his team out of its first three-game losing streak since 2002.
“To not be able to go out there and get after it, I knew I was letting everybody down by not being out there, because I didn’t give them the best opportunity to win that ballgame by being on that sideline,” Teich said.
—- Patrick Stevens