Maryland fans hoping to get their first glimpse at redshirt junior quarterback Caleb Henderson in Saturday’s spring game will have to wait until the 2017 regular season begins.
Second-year coach DJ Durkin said before practice Thursday that Henderson, who many assumed would come out of the spring as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, will sit out the Red-White game with an ankle injury.
Durkin said the injury occurred during a recent practice, and it came without contact. It appears the move to sit Henderson is merely precautionary, with no talk of any impending surgery.
Henderson transferred last summer from North Carolina, where he redshirted as a freshman in 2014 and played behind three-year starter Marquise Williams as a freshman and Mitch Trubisky, one of the top prospects in this year's NFL draft, as a sophomore.
The injury should not affect Henderson's ability to win the starting job in the fall.
“Not concerned at all. He’ll be just fine,” Durkin said. “He suffered an ankle injury. No sense in pushing right now or trying to do something crazy. We want him to be healthy for the majority of summertime and fall camp.”
The absence of Henderson will give rising sophomores Tyrrell Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager the opportunity to get a large majority of the reps in what will be an offense-against-defense scrimmage.
Durkin said all three quarterbacks have played well in the spring.
“I think those guys are really coming along,” Durkin said. “We’re doing a really good job of completing passes down the field, which is obviously something we struggled with [last season]. Our run game was certainly ahead of our pass game last spring and I like where we’re at right now through the spring.”
Durkin said it will remain an open competition through fall camp, when incoming freshman Kasim Hill is expected to be part of the mix of quarterbacks under consideration to play.
“I see that at basically all positions,” Durkin said. “I want to see what guys are going to work and improve and get better and do the extra things on their own all summer long and come into preseason camp with the right mindset. You come out of spring with a depth chart in mind … but to me they’re all written in pencil, especially the quarterback position.”
Notes: Durkin also announced that rising junior cornerback RaVon Davis will sit out the spring game with an ankle-foot injury and that backup rising senior Chris Jones of Baltimore tore his ACL and will not likely be back until after the regular season begins. An athletic department spokesman confirmed a tweet from Scout.com that said wide receivers coach Chris Beatty has been promoted to associate head coach. Beatty, who will still coach the team’s wideouts, is considered one of the top recruiters in the country.