PJ Fleck's first season as Western Michigan's head coach has already gotten tougher, as the Broncos must make up for the absence of leading receiver Jaime Wilson.
Wilson, the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2012, suffered a broken ankle during practice earlier this week. According to Fleck, the injury occurred while Wilson was downfield blocking and had his foot rolled up under. The estimated timetable for his return is eight or nine weeks, which would put Wilson's return around mid-October.
"It was just a freaky accident," Fleck told reporters on Tuesday. "He already had surgery. We got him in right away and now he's on the road to recovery. We're going to attack it like he's going to come back and we'll re-evaluate it when he's ready."
There is a possibility that Western Michigan could redshirt Wilson, saving him a year of eligibility. If his recovery is delayed beyond Oct. 26, when the Broncos play at UMass, Wilson will only have the opportunity to play in three regular season games.
"We're not going to rush him back, but we're going to do everything like he's going to play," Fleck said. "Obviously, it's better to break something than tear an ACL. He has a shot, but I'm not going to rush him back for a year and ruin a year. I look at it like I could have Jaime Wilson for three more years after this year."
Wilson was one of just five returning starters on the offensive side of the ball for the Broncos. The 5-foot-11, 196 pound wide receiver led the team with 67 catches for 792 yards and six touchdowns in just ten games of action as a true freshman.