Rob Ambrose expects return specialist Derrick Joseph to play vs. Stony Brook

Senior suffered shoulder injury in second quarter of Saturday's 27-24 loss to Maine

September 30, 2014|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Derrick Joseph injured his shoulder in the second quarter of Towson’s 27-24 loss to Maine on Saturday night, and he did not return to the game.

But the senior return specialist could return in time for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game at Johnny Unitas Stadium against Colonial Athletic Association opponent Stony Brook.

Coach Rob Ambrose said Joseph, who ranks 22nd among all Football Championship Subdivision kick returners with a 25.6-yard average and has returned a school-record four kickoffs for touchdowns, suffered “a small strain” that does not require surgery.

“It’s nothing huge,” Ambrose said Monday during his weekly conference call organized by the league. “… Right now, he’s questionable.”

Asked if his anticipation is that Joseph would play for the Tigers (2-3 overall and 0-1 in the CAA) against the Seawolves (1-4, 0-1) on Saturday, Ambrose replied, “It is.”

Without Joseph, Towson turned to sophomore wide receiver DeAngelo Stephenson to return kickoffs and junior strong safety Donnell Lewis to handle punts. Stephenson averaged 18.7 yards on three kickoffs, while Lewis returned one punt for 4 yards.

Asking Lewis, the team’s starting strong safety, to handle punts might seem like a risky proposition, but Ambrose pointed out that Lewis had averaged 21.4 yards on five kick returns this season.

“They were all pretty good returns,” Ambrose said. “We put two [returners] back there, and they ended up kicking to Derrick, and Donnell was back there with him the whole time.”

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