Hills was still having his shoulder checked out on the sideline as his teammates raced to the end zone to celebrate with Pigrome, although he exited the locker room afterward showing no major signs of distress. While Durkin did not disclose the exact nature of the shoulder injury, Hills nonetheless benefited from the team’s bye week and received treatment before returning to the practice field this week ahead of Saturday’s game against the Boilermakers.
“Perry is doing good,” Durkin said. “I think he’ll be ready to go for us and we plan on that. He’s probable for the game.”
Hills has had his bouts with injuries throughout his career — he missed the entire 2013 season while recovering from a torn ACL — but there was little doubt from his teammates that he would recover from the injury against Central Florida. While much has been made about Hills’s considerable growth as a passer — he’s completed 61.7 percent of his passes, has thrown three touchdowns against no interceptions and has connected with 14 receivers in three games — he again gave Maryland a boost with his feet late in the win over Central Florida.
His rugged running style has been lauded by coaches and players alike over the past year, and Hills showed why by ripping off three runs for 25 yards and a touchdown during the first overtime. He attempted to run again on the first play of the second overtime, which resulted with several Central Florida players falling on Hills as he rolled to the ground.
As he walked off the field with his apparent injury, senior defensive end Roman Braglio made a point to check on his quarterback. Braglio, who has roomed with Hills for four years and considers him one of his closest friends on the team, had suffered a similar shoulder injury two years ago and could relate. He asked Hills if he was okay. After Hills nodded, Braglio hit him in the shoulder and told him to “toughen up.” It was a gesture made in jest, because Braglio knew that Hills could weather this latest round of adversity.
“Unbelievably tough kid. He came off the field. I asked him if he was alright. He kind of gave me the head nod. And with the week of treatment, everything was good,” Braglio said. “Like coach said, it was rest and recovery. So that’s what happened.”