Maryland’s most dynamic offensive weapon and its leading rusher are the latest Terrapins to succumb to the injury bug that has devastated the team this season.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs and running back Wes Brown have been ruled out for Saturday’s game at Clemson because of ankle injuries, Maryland announced Thursday evening in its weekly injury report.
Brown, who has 382 rushing yards this season, missed the second half of last weekend’s 33-13 loss to Georgia Tech after tweaking his ankle, while Diggs had been seen wearing a walking boot throughout the week and was unable to practice.
Tyrek Cheeseboro, one of Maryland’s two gunners on special teams and a valuable asset in return coverage, will also miss Saturday’s game. He suffered a concussion against the Yellow Jackets after making a helmet-to-helmet tackle in the second half.
Without Diggs, a freshman who ranks second in the ACC and seventh nationally in all-purpose yardage, the Terrapins will have only three wide receivers remaining for their trip to Death Valley: senior Kevin Dorsey (15 catches, one touchdown this season), redshirt freshman Nigel King (four catches, one for a touchdown) and true freshman Levern Jacobs (three catches).
Diggs got hurt early in the Georgia Tech game but played throughout. He out-jumped a defensive back as time expired for a 23-yard touchdown catch, his second of the game.
Given that freshman Shawn Petty will make just his second career start at quarterback against the 10th-ranked Tigers, Brown’s absence might be just as crucial. A freshman like Diggs, Brown was called upon to run the “Wildcrab” formation before getting injured against Georgia Tech, taking direct snaps from center when Petty got nicked up with a shoulder injury in the first half.
Petty, a converted linebacker who was pressed into action after four other Maryland quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries, is listed as probable on the injury report.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Ross had his most productive game of an injury-shortened season in Brown’s stead against Georgia Tech, rushing for 66 yards on 12 carries, and will likely be counted upon against Clemson. Either Ross or Albert Reid could be used to run the “Wildcrab,” while Justus Pickett, Maryland’s best pass-catching running back, could help bolster the passing game without Diggs. The Terps also have tight ends Devonte Campbell and Dave Stinebaugh to complete a two-tight end set opposite Matt Furstenburg.
Jacobs will start in the slot in Diggs’s place, while Dexter McDougle, Jacobs and Makinton Dorleant will field punts. Ross will likely take kickoffs. Dorleant will fill in for Cheeseboro as the other gunner on special teams opposite safety Sean Davis.
MARYLAND INJURY REPORT
Out for season: WR Kerry Boykins, QB C.J. Brown, QB Devin Burns, PK-P Nick Ferrara, LB Demetrius Hartsfield, QB Perry Hills, WR Marcus Leak, DL Andre Monroe, QB Caleb Rowe.
Out for Clemson game: RB Wes Brown (ankle), WR Tyrek Cheeseboro (concussion), WR Stefon Diggs (ankle).
Questionable: DL Joe Vellano (ankle)
Probable: DL Justin Anderson (ankle), DB Undray Clark (thigh), WR Kevin Dorsey (knee), LB Cole Farrand (wrist), DL A.J. Francis (shoulder), OL Bennett Fulper (toe), OL Justin Gilbert (knee), OL Nick Klemm (knee), QB Shawn Petty (shoulder), DB Matt Robinson (hip), TE Ryan Schlothauer (knee), TE Dave Stinebaugh (back), LB Kenneth Tate (knee)