ANNAPOLIS —- Navy wide receiver Matt Aiken‘s knee injury could cost him time in the regular season.
The junior, who started 11 of 12 games last season, was on crutches at the Midshipmen’s practice Tuesday afternoon. He suffered the knee injury in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“He’s probably out for a while,” coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “He’s probably doubtful for the Notre Dame game. We’ll see. He’s a hard-working kid. With medicine and technology now, if a guy works hard, we’ll see. It’s a long shot, but we’ll see.”
Niumatalolo said Aiken, who had 13 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns, will not require surgery.
Navy is now without both of its projected starting wideouts. Senior Brandon Turner did not pass his physical readiness test and will not rejoin the team any sooner than Monday. Casey Bolena and Shawn Lynch are the current first-teamers.
Of greater concern to Navy might be Aiken’s role as the Mids’ punt returner. Niumatalolo said Gee Gee Greene assumed that role in Aiken’s absence, while Hayden Maples, Geoffrey Whiteside and Ryan Williams-Jenkins could also be possibilities.
“We might make it game-day,” Niumatalolo said. “We have two and a half weeks. The one thing with Matt is he did it in big games. We have to make sure we pick the right guy. I could care less if you get a Deion Sanders 50-yard return. We just want to catch the ball. Just take care of the ball.”
—- Patrick Stevens