TCU head coach Gary Patterson, black shirt, looks on during the second half of an NCAA college football game against SMU Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won 48-17. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The TCU defense will play without both of its starting linebackers from the Minnesota game this Saturday against Stephen F. Austin.

Coach Gary Patterson confirmed Wednesday that freshman linebacker Mike Freeze has not practiced all week and won’t play Saturday.

Patterson said that Freeze is on a personal leave of absence and he doesn’t know how long it will last, “maybe forever.”

The Frogs lost junior linebacker Sammy Douglas to a season-ending knee injury early on in the Minnesota game.

Patterson said freshman linebacker and high school safety Montrel Wilson will start against SFA. Converted fullback Paul Whitmill will also return to his former position of linebacker, Patterson said.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Ty Summers is also expected to contribute at the position.

In other injury news, Patterson said senior defensive end James McFarland will have surgery next week after stepping on a sprinkler head and breaking his toe.

“Some years you stay out of the [injury] jinx and some you don’t,” Patterson added.

Patterson said that the team will look into medical redshirts for both Douglas and McFarland.

The injury issues aren’t just on the defensive side of the ball. Patterson said wide receiver Josh Doctson and running back Aaron Green need to get in better shape to get back to their levels of play from last season.

TCU fans will also see some new faces on the field against Saturday.

Patterson said that fans will likely see freshmen Jaelan Austin, DeShawn Raymond, Arico Evans, Julius Lewis, Breylin Mitchell and Tipa Galeai against SFA.

The Frogs will play their home opener at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Stephen F. Austin lost its home opener last week against Northern Arizona, 34-28.

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