Henderson remains in pain from back injury vs. UNC

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

Linebacker expects to play against BC

College Football

November 07, 2007|By HEATHER A. DINICH | HEATHER A. DINICH,SUN REPORTER

College Park --The most automatic tasks - walking, sitting and standing - have become a chore for Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson after his gruesome-looking back injury at North Carolina last weekend.

"I haven't even thought about trying to run or do anything like that," said Henderson, who missed Monday's walk-through but quietly whispered that "yeah, probably," he will play against Boston College on Saturday.

A picture in The Diamondback, Maryland's school newspaper, captured exactly what happened, as Henderson's face collided with a Carolina running back's pads, and the weight of two players forced Henderson's torso backward while his thighs and knees remained flat on the ground.

"I was afraid he broke his back," coach Ralph Friedgen said.

Instead, Henderson went back in the game and finished with a team-high 11 tackles. X-rays later showed there were no breaks, and Henderson kept the picture in The Diamondback.

"I knew it was bad, but that's a good picture," he said. "I'm going to have to frame that one."

Steffy to return?

Friedgen is again toying with the idea of playing displaced starting quarterback Jordan Steffy, who hasn't played a snap since suffering his fourth concussion Oct. 29 at Rutgers.

"I thought Jordan practiced pretty well," Friedgen said of Monday's session. "I thought he had the better practice yesterday. If that continues, we'll make a change there."

Chris Turner has started the past four games and completed 62 percent of his passes. In order to beat Boston College, which has the nation's No. 1 rushing defense (58 yards allowed per game), Maryland is going to have to throw the ball. The Terps have only three passing touchdowns this season.

Walk-on might start

Never in his coaching career has Friedgen had a walk-on offensive lineman play so many snaps and such an integral role as Paul Pinegar has been forced to this season.

Pinegar, who has played 39 snaps the past two games, might earn his first career start at left tackle this weekend because starter Scott Burley and his backup, freshman Bruce Campbell, have ankle sprains.

"Just because he's a walk-on doesn't mean he's not good," Friedgen said.

He might have added one more, as right guard Andrew Crummey, who broke his fibula and hasn't played since the Oct. 6 game against Georgia Tech, could return next week at Florida State. Crummey is out of his walking boot and off crutches.

Defense also aching

Maryland has had an equal amount of hindering injuries on defense. Friedgen said cornerbacks Kevin Barnes and Isaiah Gardner are playing with shoulder injuries, as is linebacker Dave Philistin. Backup defensive tackle Travis Ivey has missed the past three weeks with a knee injury and tried to practice yesterday but couldn't.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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