Midshipmen Notebook

Navy quarterback Dobbs considered day-to-day after MRI exam on right knee

By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Navy junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs did not practice on Tuesday after undergoing an MRI exam to determine the severity of an injured right knee. Dobbs, who leads the country in touchdowns scored (16), is considered day-to-day, and his status for Saturday's game against Wake Forest will be determined later this week, according to Coach Ken Niumatalolo.

Dobbs was hurt on the second play of the Midshipmen's 38-35 overtime victory at Southern Methodist on Saturday, Niumatalolo said. But Dobbs didn't miss a snap and rushed for 89 yards on 26 carries, and he participated in Monday's post-practice conditioning session, jogging gingerly.

"I don't know if it's serious. It could be. I don't know," Niumatalolo said. "We're waiting for the results of everything. But he was hurting the other day walking, and I guess it stiffened up on him. He played 70-something snaps with it" on Saturday.

Navy (5-2) has played seven straight games without a bye, and Dobbs, who leads Navy in rushing yards (579) and carries (167), has taken a beating with his physical style. His "pain tolerance, compared to most people, is pretty high," Niumatalolo said. Still, the Midshipmen are preparing as if he will not be able to play.

Sophomore Kriss Proctor, who rushed for 82 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Dobbs in the Oct. 10 blowout victory at Rice, worked with the starters on Tuesday, and sophomore Mike Stukel, who has played both slot back and quarterback this season, is back full-time with the quarterbacks.

"With [Dobbs], I won't count him out," Niumatalolo said. "But right now we have to prepare as if he's out."

Murray stakes his claim

Junior fullback Vince Murray has started the past two games in place of injured sophomore Alexander Teich, and his performances -- 203 yards on 34 carries in victories over Rice and SMU -- have earned him the opportunity to remain as the starter, Niumatalolo said. Teich hasn't played since Oct. 3, but he participated in practice and conditioning drills on Monday with his left ankle heavily taped.

"Vince has been doing some good things," Niumatalolo said. "Right now we've got some pretty good chemistry -- not to say that Alex won't play -- but right now my initial thought is to let Vince play. We'll give Alex some reps and kind of see where he's at, but right now Vince is our starter."

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