This year's Maryland football team has relatively little experience at running back, especially tailback. And yesterday, there were very few tailbacks, period.

"I think we only had three tailbacks today," Coach Joe Krivak said following the afternoon practice. "And that includes everybody."

Because of illness and academics, two freshmen -- Mike Beasley and Troy Jackson -- had to handle most of the work at tailback.

Redshirt sophomore Bren Lowery, who has the most experience and would seem the favorite to start, missed practice today because of a summer school class, Krivak said. Arnold Walker, who sat out last year because of Proposition 48, couldn't practice in the afternoon because of stomach problems and an inability to retain fluids.

The tight end position is also a bit thinner. Backup Blaine Rose is scheduled to have an arthroscopic examination on his left knee today to determine the extent of an injury incurred this summer. Rose apparently hadn't thought the problem to be that serious and had worked out until a few days ago. A redshirt sophomore, Rose played in 10 of 11 games last year, mostly in double-tight end situations, catching two passes for 23 yards.

Rose, a redshirt sophomore, will be joined at Sibley Hospital by freshman Joe Nelk, who also will undergo an arthroscopic exam on his right knee. Nelk, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive lineman, initially hurt the knee last week during early workouts for freshmen. Both exams will be done by team physician Stan Lavine.

"We really don't know {about Rose} until the exam," Krivak said. "Those can be three, four, five weeks, so it might be the second game. If it's earlier, then it would be a bonus."

Outside linebacker Mark Walsh, who has been doing some work with the first-team defense, twisted his right ankle during the afternoon practice yesterday. He said he wasn't sure how long he would be sidelined. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Scott Saylor also is among the wounded, having fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. While Saylor will be out for a while, defensive tackle Wayne Brunson practiced yesterday with the broken wrist he suffered Tuesday.

The Terrapins are still without right guard Dave Amend, who pulled his right hamstring before the start of practice.

Amend, who started all 11 games last year, said he hopes to be ready by Monday.