Maryland backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome has been dealing with back spasms this week, but “the expectation is he’ll be available” for the No. 21 Terrapins’ game at Temple this weekend, Coach Michael Locksley said Wednesday.

Pigrome only participated in some drills at Wednesday’s practice, while redshirt freshman Tyler DeSue worked with the second-team offense.

“He’s still a little tight ... and we’ll rehab him and treat it,” Locksley said of Pigrome. “Hopefully we can get something out of him tomorrow, a little bit more than we got today. And hopefully the bus trip up doesn’t affect it. But we’re going to travel him."

Josh Jackson, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, won the starting job over Pigrome in the preseason. Through the first two games of the season, Jackson has thrown for 541 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. The Terrapins have scored 142 points in those games, building lopsided margins early in both games.

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All four healthy scholarship quarterbacks (Jackson, Pigrome, DeSue and freshman Lance LeGendre) played in the opener against Howard, a 79-0 win. Jackson did not return to that game after halftime, while the other three quarterbacks had the chance to lead drives. Jackson played nearly every snap of the 63-20 win over then-No. 21 Syracuse last weekend. Pigrome, however, came in for two plays in the second quarter, and he ran the ball on both. He then entered the game again on the final drive, handing the ball off to Jake Funk on all three plays of a 92-yard touchdown march.

“If you’re a playmaker, we’ve got to find ways to get you on the field and help us find a way to create a competitive advantage,” Locksley said of Pigrome’s role in the offense as the second-string quarterback. “And Piggy’s development as a thrower has put him in a position to help us.”

Pigrome started the final two games of 2018, nearly leading Maryland to an upset win over Ohio State. The Terps lost, 52-51, when interim coach Matt Canada opted to go for a two-point conversion in overtime and Pigrome missed an open Jeshaun Jones in the end zone. Pigrome took over the job after last year’s starter, Kasim Hill, tore his ACL against Indiana. Pigrome tore his ACL in the 2017 season opener against Texas after he had earned the starting role as a sophomore.

DeSue, who would be needed for backup duties if Pigrome is unable to play, led the first-team offense in Maryland’s spring scrimmage this year. In that game, DeSue passed for 218 yards and completed 23 of 35 passes. Locksley said during fall camp that DeSue needed to improve in his consistency and decision-making.

Maryland has depth in the quarterback room and a proven starter to lead the offense. As long as Jackson remains healthy, there shouldn’t be much concern about the position group as a whole.

“I feel real comfortable with where the quarterback room is as a whole,” Locksley said the week his team played Howard. “Probably better than any other time I’ve been here at Maryland, the depth that we’ve created.”

Other injury notes:

  • Starting outside linebacker Shaq Smith missed the Syracuse game with a minor groin injury. He has practiced this week, and Locksley said “he looks like he’s pretty good for this week.”
  • Wide receiver Sean Nelson, who scored his first career touchdown against Howard, has a high ankle injury and is doubtful to play against Temple.
  • Starting offensive lineman Marcus Minor “is a little nicked up and he’s questionable” for the Temple game, Locksley said Tuesday. “We will try to bring him back slowly in the week. The plan is to practice him some [Tuesday], so that [Wednesday] he can be full return, but my expectation is that he’ll play in the game on Saturday.”

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