Howard University starting quarterback Bobby Townsend is doubtful for Saturday's game against Towson after aggravating a sprained right foot in last weekend's loss to Florida A&M, Coach Steve Wilson said yesterday.
If Townsend cannot play, redshirt junior Roy Anderson will start and redshirt freshman Donald Clark likely will get some playing time, Wilson said. Anderson replaced Townsend during the third quarter of Saturday's game and played well in the 40-34 triple-overtime loss.
Wilson said Townsend practiced little Monday, and that his foot is healing slowly. Howard's coaching staff would rather rest Townsend for the nonconference game against Towson, and hope he can return for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at North Carolina A&T on Oct. 23--a game that likely will determine the team's chance at making the Heritage Bowl. The Bison are 2-3, and 1-2 in the MEAC.
"I'm not optimistic at all," Wilson said yesterday of Townsend's chances of playing Saturday. "We're going day-to-day, [but] it's very difficult for him. In NFL terms, he's doubtful."
Townsend was limping badly yesterday even though he has been receiving therapy since Saturday. He said he would like to play this week, but will rest if that is what the coaches want.
"Right now, it's tight," Townsend said. "I want to be out there, but the rest would be good. I'll do what they say."
Townsend has completed 67 of 171 passes for 1,147 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.
Townsend, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound redshirt junior, first injured the foot in the second quarter of the game against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 18 in Cincinnati. Although he was nearly replaced after halftime, Townsend led a fourth-quarter comeback that gave Howard a 31-27 victory.
But the foot has bothered him ever since. A bye week before the Florida A&M game helped Townsend, who also was battling a hand injury. However, he was reinjured against FAMU when a player fell across his foot late in the third quarter.
Wilson said Anderson and Clark are prepared to play against Towson. After Townsend's departure last Saturday, the 6-2, 185-pound Anderson completed 6 of 16 passes for 41 yards and one touchdown. He is one of the team's fastest and strongest players. Following his touchdown pass against FAMU, he tied the game with a two-point conversion run after taking a hard hit.
Clark is a 6-5, 225-pound native of Statesville, N.C., for whom Wilson has high hopes.
"I feel very good about going with [Anderson and Clark]," Wilson said. "We're not going to push [Townsend] out there."