Deshawn Stevens of the University of Maine is pictured during a game in 2018. The Black Bears' junior linebacker suffered an apparent Achilles tendon injury on Friday night and may be lost for the rest of the season. Credit: Ronald Gillis | UMaine Athletics

University of Maine junior linebacker Deshawn Stevens may have suffered an Achilles tendon tear Friday night during the first half of the Black Bears’ season-opening 42-14 victory over Sacred Heart.

Black Bears head coach Nick Charlton on Saturday shared the news about the preseason All-America linebacker, but said the injury is still being evaluated.

If the injury is an Achilles tear that sidelines Stevens for the rest of the season, it would be a huge loss for the Black Bears.

Stevens, one of four Black Bear captains, was an All-Colonial Athletic Association second-team selection in 2018 and was named a HERO Football Championship Subdivision Sophomore All-American.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound native of Toronto led the team in tackles with 120 to help lead the Black Bears to the CAA championship the program’s first-ever berth in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals. Stevens ranked second in the CAA in tackles for a loss (1.21 per game), and was third in total tackles and fifth in sacks.

Charlton said after the game Friday night that if Stevens was sidelined for the season, the staff would discuss the options for his replacement.

“He is an unbelievable person and a great football player. We all know that,” Charlton said. “But it’s the ‘next man up’ mentality, and we’re going to put somebody out there who is able to [get the job done].”

Stevens was involved in five tackles prior to his injury. Junior Owen Elliott of Saco, who is listed as Stevens’ back-up on the depth chart, came on and was involved in three tackles.

Sophomore Adrian Otero, who made four tackles, is another possibility.

UMaine travels to Statesboro, Georgia, for a 6 p.m. game Saturday against Football Bowl Subdivision team Georgia Southern. Sixth-ranked Louisiana State University beat the Eagles 55-6 on Saturday.

Georgia Southern went 10-3 last season and beat Eastern Michigan in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The game is the Eagles’ home opener.

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