The news many had anticipated and Purdue fans had feared finally became official Thursday.
As was the case with No. 1 running back Ralph Bolden and No. 1 wide receiver Keith Smith, Marve suffered a torn ACL, a diagnosis confirmed Thursday by Purdue's team orthopedist. Making matters worse, it's the second time Marve has torn the ACL in his left knee; he also suffered a torn ACL in July 2009.
"Robert Marve is a big part of our football family, he has worked extremely hard to be the great player that he is and our heart goes out to him," head coach Danny Hope said in a statement. "Boilermaker Nation will rally behind him with all of its support through this tough time. I know he will continue to be an inspiration to his teammates and fans."
Two questions come to mind right now:
1.What did Purdue do to deserve this?
2. Did Marve rush back too soon after "tweaking" the left knee Sept. 18 against Ball State?
Hope said earlier this week that he's "under the assumption that the two injuries are completely isolated to one another." I'm certainly no doctor or trainer, but the fact Marve had suffered a serious injury to the same knee last summer had to be an important factor in determining when he should have returned.
You have to feel terrible for Marve, who really seemed like a changed man after the troubles at Miami, gaining the respect of his new coaches and teammates in his year away from the game field before claiming Purdue's starting quarterback job. He'll one again have to work his way back, but it's hard to know how the knee will respond when he returns to the field.
Purdue now turns to redshirt freshman quarterback Rob Henry, who relieved Marve against Toledo and is expected to start Oct. 9 against Northwestern. Defensive coordinator Donn Landholm said Tuesday that Henry and true freshman Sean Robinson are Nos. 1 and 2 on the depth chart. Purdue also could discuss moving Justin Siller back to quarterback, although it seems like a long shot.
I can't remember the last time a team lost its top quarterback, running back and wide receiver to serious knee injuries in the same season. Purdue obviously has a very tough challenge ahead, especially with the defense struggling a bit as well.
The only good news is the Boilers have the bye week to regroup before the Northwestern game.