As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marc Narducci first reported, Sophomore linebacker Chapelle Russell is out for the season with a knee injury.
Russell had been the team’s leading tackler up until this point in the season, with 70 total tackles in nine games. He also had 3.5 tackles for loss for a defense that is quickly turning around as the season progresses.
The Temple defense held the top two rushing offenses in the nation in Army and Navy to just 384 yards combined. Both teams were averaging over 300 yards per game entering the game.
While Russell has been notably the best linebacker on the field for Temple this season, the Owls have a young group of linebackers that will look to fill the position.
Lining up next to Russell this season has been Shaun Bradley, who is third on the team in tackles with 57, and nine tackles for loss. Bradley will now look to be the leading tackler on the defense minus Chapelle Russell.
Other options to fill the spot include William Kwenkeu, Sam Franklin, and Isaiah Graham-Mobley. All three have seen significant time on defense this season, and have performed well enough to stay on the field.
As the Owls continue their hunt for a bowl game, they will have to do it without their top tackler in Russell. Temple must win two of its last three games to become bowl eligible. The stretch continues tonight at 7 pm against Cincinnati.