Maryland Coach Bobby Ross said last night "there is a good chance" quarterback Boomer Esiason will not play Saturday afternoon against visiting Pittsburgh.

Ross said team physician Stan Lavine will examine Esiason's right arm Saturday morning and make a final determination whether Esiason will play. If Esiason, a senior, cannot play, junior Frank Reich will start.

Esiason, who has started the last 24 games for the Terrapins, sprained ligaments in his nonthrowing shoulder last week when sacked in the first half by West Virginia.

Last night, Esiason said, "It feels better than it has all week," but admitted that he won't know if he can play until Saturday. "People keep telling me, 'One game doesn't make a season.' But I keep telling them, 'Naw, it doesn't work that way.' "

Esiason did not practice yesterday or Wednesday after experiencing soreness following Tuesday's practice. Esiason has completed 40 of 73 passes in two games this season and is considered by college coaches and NFL scouts as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.

Reich, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and Esiason's roommate, completed two of three passes last year in a relief role. He has received most of the work with the first team this week in practice.