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Terps have health concerns ahead of finale

Terps have health concerns ahead of finale
Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe (7) rushes downfield in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in College Park, Md. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

The deluge of injuries that seemed to plague Maryland football in the past few years — namely the string of quarterback injuries and torn knee ligaments in 2012 — has been staved off so far this season.

But entering its final game at Rutgers on Saturday, the toll of a difficult Big Ten Conference schedule is starting to show. And though the Terps have almost the exact same depth chart for the Scarlet Knights as they did for this past weekend's game against Indiana, there are still a number of uncertainties to sort out before the two teams square off in Piscataway, N.J.

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The lone change to the depth chart was freshman Jahrvis Davenport moving into the backup wide receiver role behind redshirt junior Levern Jacobs. Junior DeAndre Lane served in that role for much of the season, but he suffered a foot sprain against Michigan State and missed the Indiana game. Lane is still listed as the backup punt returner.

The largest question mark surrounds Maryland's starting quarterback. Junior Perry Hills is still listed as the starter with junior Caleb Rowe and sophomore Shane Cockerille as his backups. Hills, who has made seven starts this season, missed the matchup against Indiana with mononucleosis. Rowe started for the fourth time this season, but he exited the game at halftime with a concussion.

Cockerille played the entire second half in the most action of his career and completed 11 of 22 passes for 82 yards.

In his weekly conference call Sunday, interim coach Mike Locksley said Hills and Rowe would undergo further evaluation Monday. The Terps don't practice on Mondays and will return to the field Tuesday morning.

"Until Monday, it's very murky for us. I mean, everybody is kind of out right now," Locksley said Sunday. "Right now, Caleb is out, as well as Perry Hills has been ruled out."

Cornerback Will Likely was scheduled to have X-rays on his left ankle Monday, but the junior was listed as a starter at cornerback, punt returner and kick returner. Likely has started 34 straight games and appeared in all 36 games of his career.

Locksley said kicker Brad Craddock's status for Rutgers is also uncertain. The senior had started the first 47 games of his career before he dislocated his wrist against Wisconsin on Nov. 7. Sophomore Adam Greene has continued to handle kicking duties in the past two games.

"They've got two of the best specialists in the country in their kicker and returner," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said Monday. "I don't know what the status is for either guy for the game. Their kicker has missed a few games here. Not sure if he'll be available. Will Likely is one of the most dangerous return guys in all of college football, but he left the last game and we're not quite sure what his status is yet. We are going to prepare as if both those guys will be playing against us."

Other Terps who have been dealing with injuries that are listed as starters on the depth chart include Jacobs, who missed the Iowa game with a sprained knee and didn't start against Indiana because of a hamstring injury, and left tackle Michael Dunn, who started against the Hoosiers after suffering a high-ankle sprain against Michigan State but exited the game.

Maryland has avoided the series of catastrophic injuries it had in 2012 and in 2013, when wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long suffered season-ending injuries in the same game. Outside linebackers Abner Logan and Jefferson Ashiru, guard Mike Minter, and defensive tackle David Shaw were the lone starters to suffer season-ending injuries.

Though other starters have missed games with minor injuries, Maryland has been somewhat fortunate.

And with the season winding down, the Terps know they'll need all healthy hands on deck this weekend.

"Our guys will continue to stay together," Locksley said Sunday. "We got another challenge ahead of us in Rutgers, another team that's fighting for bowl eligibility as well as playing an emotional game for their seniors in their last home game, so we expect some great competition."

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