Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. is helped off the field against Minnesota at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 12, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. is helped off the field against Minnesota at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 12, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Steven Branscombe / Getty Images)

Maryland's Perry Hills is not the only quarterback whose status for Saturday's first meeting with Nebraska at Memorial Stadium will be a "game time decision" – or at least one the respective coaches are not ready to share with the media.

According to several news outlets throughout the state, senior Tommy Armstrong Jr. is still sidelined by the hamstring injury he suffered while leading the Cornhuskers on a game-winning drive at home last week against Minnesota. Armstrong has not practiced all week.


Armstrong, who could break Taylor Martinez's school record with his 44th career start, has missed only one start in the past three years. Last week, Armstrong was cleared on the morning of the game after passing some last-minute tests for a concussion he suffered against Ohio State the previous game.

As happened when Hills was forced out of last week's game against the Buckeyes at Maryland Stadium, the Cornhuskers lost, 62-3, to Ohio State after Armstrong was knocked out after a collision with a training equipment table that was close to the field.

Asked about Armstrong's availability against Maryland, Nebraska coach Mike Riley told the Lincoln-Journal Star on Thursday, "I think there are two things there. It's certainly how he feels, but it's what kind of risk do we take in making it worse? The hamstring is a mystery, right?

"You really don't know until you really go. And then you can make it worse. We don't want to do that. We want to be pretty sure. That's why we haven't done much with him at this point."

If Armstrong can't play, senior Ryker Fyfe would make his second career start. A former walk-on, Fyfe replaced Armstrong in the blowout defeat at Columbus two weeks ago and did not fare very well, completing five of 18 passes for 52 yards and an interception.

"I think the kids respond well to Ryker," Riley told the Journal-Star Thursday after watching Fyfe take first-team snaps at practice all week. "He's been around a long time and he's not uncomfortable for them. It looked like a good picture today."

Riley said he was encouraged by what he saw in practice.

"I liked it a lot," Riley told the Journal-Star. "I was real excited, and it kind of culminated in a real nice Thursday, which I consider a dress rehearsal day. I thought he did a nice job. Threw some really sharp balls. Appeared very confident. The practice was crisp. The execution was good."

Fyfe would be backed up by sophomore Zack Darlington, who usually plays wide receiver.

Maryland coach DJ Durkin said in a teleconference Thursday that Hills, who was forced out by an injury to his left shoulder in Maryland's 62-3 loss to the Buckeyes last week, has been receiving treatment on "both shoulders." Hills has played most of the season with a right shoulder injury.

"Our training staff does a great job, our doctors do a great job. They've been really thorough in really treating him and we'll continue to do that," Durkin said.

Durkin has not said who will start if Hills can't go. Freshman Tyrrell Pigrome, who started against Minnesota in the only game the fifth-year senior sat out, replaced fifth-year senior Caleb Rowe at halftime of last week's loss to the Buckeyes.

Given that the Terps might need to run the ball more in what is expected to be windy conditions, it might be either Pigrome, who has carried 60 times for 229 yards and three touchdowns, or the experienced Rowe, who started four games last season as well as several others earlier in his career.


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