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August 10, 2012An MRI Thursday, August 9 revealed Wake Forest left tackle Steven Chase has a torn ACL.
The 6-foot-7 and 305-pound redshirt junior from Frederick, Md. suffered the injury in practice Tuesday, August 7.
"I saw him walk off the field, and he looked fine," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "[Assistant athletic trainer] Don [Steelman] thought he maybe sprained his knee, and I think the Doctors thought that he had a stable knee."
"I think it just shocked everybody when it came back ACL, which means he may have had a little bit of something there in the past that nobody knew about, because it wasn't really a lot. I wasn't something that you would think have that kind of result."
Chase, who started three of the 11 games he played in last season, graded out at 77-percent for the year, including a season-high 89-percent against Virginia Tech.
The dilemma now is who does new offensive line coach Jonathan Himebauch put at left tackle, while Grobe, the Doctors and Chase figure out what to do next.
"Whether we can do that [still play Chase] or not I don't know," Grobe said. "Every kid's a little bit different. Of course the key would be can you play well with it; not just play. We're asking those tackles to not only run-block, but they really got to be good pass protectors and that's where I think you can have some issue, but a lot of that's finesse and not as much brut, knock you down stuff."
"[We're going] a day at a time and see how his knee does if you get the swelling down. He's really had no pain. He's got a little soreness from the swelling, but as far as the injury itself he never felt any pain, so that's maybe a good thing. I don't know."
Devin Bolling has practiced with the first unit since Chase went down. However, Bolling, a redshirt junior, has only seen action in two games during his collegiate career.
Some other possible options are Hunter Goodwin, move Frank Souza from right guard back to left tackle, move Cody Preble from backup left guard to left tackle, or as a last resort play one of the true freshmen tackles Will Smith or Joel Suggs.
If the Demon Deacons are forced to go without Chase that leaves them with only two players with significant experience up front, Garrick Williams and Colin Summers.
Stay tuned as Deacons Illustrated follows this developing story.