Navy's Grizzard out with bruised lung McIntosh to start against Air Force

October 06, 1990|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Navy quarterback Alton Grizzard, who committed six turnovers in last week's loss to Boston College, apparently sustained a bruised right lung in that game and will miss today's contest here against Air Force.

With Grizzard out at least until Wednesday, the Midshipmen will be led by backup quarterback Gary McIntosh, who quit the team before the start of the season after not being named the starter. McIntosh, who was reinstated after the second game, last started a year ago in a 14-10 loss to The Citadel.

Grizzard was on the receiving end of numerous hits against Boston College, but never indicated he was hurt. He went to see the team physician, Cmdr. Edward McDevitt, Monday after he began spitting up blood.

"His rib was bruised by a hit and it bent in and bruised the lung," McDevitt said. "The danger is just by simple exertion like running, it can start bleeding again. And if he played and took a second hit in the same area, it could become dangerous."

Although the injury never was divulged by Navy coach George Chaump, Grizzard was held out of practice all last week and was X-rayed at Bethesda Naval Hospital on Monday, Wednesday and again yesterday. The decision to hold him out of the game came after an examination yesterday just before the team's charter flight left.

Chaump apparently thought Grizzard was doubtful on Wednesday during his weekly press conference when -- answering a question about possible changes -- he spoke several minutes about how he had been readying McIntosh for a game situation. But Chaump said he had no idea Grizzard would not be available until yesterday.

"If his examination went well he was going to play," said Chaump, after a practice at Falcon Stadium last night. "He still wants to play badly. But it's a matter of not taking chances and risking a more serious injury."

Neither player was available for comment yesterday. Grizzard is Navy's all-time offensive leader with 4,746 yards, but -- with the exception of the season-opening win over Richmond -- has struggled in Navy's new passing offense. He has thrown 10 interceptions this year -- including five last week. But he has not had adequate blocking from his offensive line.

Chaump felt he had two able quarterbacks before the start of the season, but was disappointed when McIntosh left the club two days before the opener. Team members voted him back after the loss to Virginia.

A high school all-America out of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, McIntosh entered the University of Maryland where he was redshirted in 1986. He entered the Naval Academy in 1987 and, after sitting out a year, shared quarterback duties with Grizzard the following season.

McIntosh, a strong thrower whose skills were never fully utilized in the wishbone offense employed by former head coach Elliot Uzelac, ended the 1989 season as a wide receiver. Chaump appears confident in his quarterback, despite the fact that he has not started a game in over a year.

"Gary finally has his chance, and I think he'll do well," Chaump said. "I'm confident he can get the job done."

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