After suffering a season-ending injury in the third game of the 2013 season, former Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle began his comeback story at the NFL Scouting Combine, and ultimately continued it when he was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
Unfortunately for the former Terrapin, that comeback story was put on hold as McDougle suffered a torn ACL in practice on Sunday. The Woodbridge, Va. native will likely miss the entire 2014 season due to the injury.
McDougle did have the opportunity to play in his first NFL preseason game on Thursday evening when the Jets faced the Indianapolis Colts. In his professional debut, McDougle registered one tackle, and defended one pass in the Jets victory. In the third quarter, McDougle and fellow defensive back Ellis Lankster were able to bring down Colts wide receiver Tony Washington for a loss of two yards.
Early in the fourth quarter, Colts quarterback Chandler Harnish attempted to throw a pass to wideout Eric Thomas, and that pass was broken up by McDougle.
Things were looking up for McDougle, and he was almost a sure bet to make the Jets 53-man roster in September. With the lack of depth at cornerback, McDougle would’ve likely gotten a significant amount of playing time this season. Along with McDougle, former Alabama and Jets cornerback Dee Milliner left practice with an ankle injury.
McDougle only appeared in three games last season after colliding with another player and fracturing his shoulder blade against Connecticut. In that same game, McDougle had a pair of interceptions, including a 49-yard return for a touchdown that helped the Terps to a 32-21 win over the Huskies.