The No. 14 Johns Hopkins football team will end a two-week respite by welcoming Centennial Conference rival Dickinson to Homewood Field in Baltimore Friday night, but the offense is expected to play without J.D. Abbott.
The senior running back sat out the Blue Jays' 65-10 thrashing of Juniata on Oct. 5, and an undisclosed injury will likely sideline him this week, according to coach Jim Margraff.
"That’s still up in the air, but I don't see him playing," Margraff said Wednesday. "My thought would be that he'll probably wait another week."
Abbott, who leads the team in rushing with 67 carries for 326 yards and seven touchdowns, will be replaced by sophomore and Boys' Latin graduate Brandon Cherry (50 attempts for 319 yards and four touchdowns).
The additional presence of freshmen Dionisio Roman (17 rushes for 77 yards against Juniata) and Stuart Walters (13 attempts for 66 yards) allows Margraff to give Abbott some more time to recover.
"Brandon and Stuart Walters and Dionisio Roman are top backs in our conference," Margraff said. "The young guys we haven't seen enough yet, but Brandon has certainly proven himself. So it does give us a lot of comfort to make sure that J.D.'s all healed up before he comes back."
Margraff said senior left tackle Vincenzo Bonaddio and sophomore right guard Colin Egan have practiced fully and should return against the Red Devils. Margraff said the bye week was beneficial for players like Bonaddio and Egan.
"We took a lot of time off," he said. "We sort of believe in rest, and we wanted our guys to heal up some. We had two very physical practices in the middle of last week on Wednesday and Thursday and with the game on Friday night, the kids had their fall break this past Monday.
"So we're just going through a normal workweek where we normally have off on Monday, but since they had so much time off, we practiced Monday. … We got some time off, our guys have healed up a bit. We've practiced the last two nights, and our guys have been at full speed and look good. So we're excited to get back to work."