Not at this rate. First Desmond Wynn was already expected to miss spring practice with a shoulder injury. Howard Barbieri hurt his knee and won't return until the summer. Now comes the news in the past week that redshirt freshman guard Antwan Lowery, who had climbed up the depth chart after shifting from defensive tackle, will miss the spring game because of a bum hand (meaning that highly-touted true freshman Betim Bujari and fifth year senior Mo Lange, who's never seen the field, are working with the first team). Tackle Devon Watkis sat out Tuesday as well after tweaking his ankle during the first scrimmage.
With projected starting center Barbieri out, Rutgers fans are now getting a good idea about why he's in the middle instead of Caleb Ruch, the presumed center of the future after Blaze graduated.
Redshirt freshman David Osei stepped in for Barbieri Wednesday but the transition was a rough one. He twice snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Tom Savage in the shotgun formation.
And Osei was standing in for backup offensive lineman Caleb Ruch, who earned the warth of Schiano with a pair of errant snaps on Monday after Barbieri went down.
So none of the backups can snap, key contributors are hurt, and starters like Art Forst still could end up at either guard or tackle. If there's any reason for optimism on this front, it would be the reports that tackle Desmond Stapleton is following in his older brother Darnell's footsteps and improving.
It's little wonder that the first team offense struggled in their first scrimmage. Things went better last Saturday for the second go around, but there's still plenty of cause for alarm. There were five more reported bad snaps, and all of Joe Martinek's yardage came on one run. Overall, it was better, but Tom Savage and co. still have work to do.
As far as other bright spots go, Coach Schiano did express confidence in Jonathan Freeny as an every down player.
"What you wonder is will (Freeny) be as effective a third-down guy playing (also) on first and second downs," said Schiano. "I think he will. He’s bigger (6-3, 250 pounds) and stronger."
Presumably, if he's starting instead of Francis, that would mean Alex Silvestro would play Left End on the strong side.
Receiver Tim Wright continues to impress as well.
He's done exactly that through 11 practices, with Rutgers coach Greg Schiano offering this assessment: ""I think he has gotten a lot better. He's playing faster. He's playing stronger. He's playing more certain. He's not perfect, but he's much better than he was, a very big improvement.''
Savage echoed his coach's assessment, saying Wright has all the tools to be one of his reliable targets next season.
""He's just big, strong, fast and he's physical,'' the Scarlet Knights quarterback said. ""He has big hands, so he catches everything in front of him.''
Probably won't make for much of an exciting spring game at this rate, although Sanu made things livelier than expected last year.