Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe will miss the final month of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee
And just like that, the Terrapins’ dreadful injury luck has moved into otherworldly territory.
Rowe is the fourth quarterback to suffered a season-ending injury for Maryland, which will turn to freshman linebacker Shawn Petty to handle the position over the final month of the season.
“Pretty much unbelievable, probably just like you guys,” coach Randy Edsall said Sunday evening of the Terps’ reaction to learning the news. “It’s very unusual. I’m not sure if something like this has ever happened with that position.”
Rowe landed awkwardly in a scramble near the Maryland sideline in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 20-17 loss at Boston College, prompting Edsall to ask if the freshman was OK. Rowe said he was fine and was examined by athletic trainer Wes Robinson. At the time, Rowe believed the injury was just a cut on his shin. He then re-entered and threw an interception after the Eagles’ go-ahead drive.
Only he wasn’t fine. Rowe woke up Sunday and couldn’t move well and soon reported for treatment. Maryland took the step of performing the MRI exam Sunday and soon learned of Rowe’s injury.
“It could be like five-to-six month recovery because it tore off from the bone,” Edsall said. “That’s what was different so maybe that’s why he didn’t experience the pain or have any issues.”
The Terps (4-4, 2-2 ACC) are left with no remaining scholarship quarterbacks, the latest turn in an increasingly absurd situation at the position.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Petty played quarterback at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. He is a left-hander who looked every bit like the linebacker he is during warmups Saturday. He will start Saturday against Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3).
Walk-on Brian McMahon, a former quarterback at Atholton High School in Columbia, Md., was last week’s third-stringer. The true freshman tight end presumably will rise to No. 2 on the depth chart this week.
Even by the standards of Maryland’s lousy luck with quarterbacks, this has been an unpleasant season. C.J. Brown was the only quarterback on the roster with college experience, and he went down during the second week of practice during a noncontact drill.
Perry Hills started the first seven games and was carted off after absorbing an illegal block after throwing an interception. Devin Burns’ season was ended when he took an awkward step eluding a sack in the fourth quarter against N.C. State.
And now Rowe is done after just one game as the starter, during which he completed 23 of 42 passes against Boston College for 240 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
It was enough to prompt even Edsall to concede the unusual nature of the season. Even last week after Hills and Burns were lost, the second-year coach insisted he has endured a similar situation in his three-plus decades in football.
“Someone should do some research if this ever happened before,” Edsall said.
It certainly hasn’t any time recently even at Maryland, which has used multiple starting quarterbacks in eight of the last nine seasons.
“We just have some bad luck,” Edsall said. “That’s all I can think of.”
There’s no arguing with that.