A projected starter on the Bowling Green defense will be lost for the 2018 season.
David Konowalski, top, tied for the team lead in sacks last season.
Redshirt senior David Konowalski, who was a first-team lock at one of the defensive end positions, suffered a torn Achilles tendon during practice and will miss the entire season.
Konowalski, who tied for the team lead with 3½ sacks last season, was one of the Falcons’ key returners for the upcoming season.
The Milwaukee native was considered by most recruiters to be too small to play Division I football, but the 6-foot-3, 240-pound end molded himself into one of Bowling Green’s regulars along the line after walking onto the team. He started every game the past two seasons for the Falcons, and his 24 career starts was tied for the team lead with linebacker Brandon Harris.
Konowalski sustained the injury during Bowling Green’s intra-squad scrimmage Saturday at Doyt Perry Stadium.
The news comes as a major blow to the defense, which made sweeping changes to its coaching staff after last season. The Falcons allowed 38 points per game in 2017, which ranked 11th in the Mid-American Conference and 122nd out of 129 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Bowling Green hired Carl Pelini as defensive coordinator and have used the offseason to install a new system. Coach Mike Jinks said Saturday the process of changing the defense still is ongoing.
The Falcons did receive good news during the weekend on fellow defensive end Roland Walder, who left the scrimmage with an ice pack on his knee. Walder has since returned to practice.
Walder, a transfer from Kentucky, is listed behind on Konowalski on Bowling Green’s depth chart.
The Falcons will open the season Sept. 1 at Oregon.
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