One of the few certain injury takeaways from Maryland’s defeat of Miami on Monday was that defensive end Isaiah Ross will undergo surgery after suffering a left leg injury early in the third quarter.
Coach Randy Edsall declined to offer specifics of the injury when asked on a teleconference Tuesday. He also declined to delve into who might replace Ross. Of course, he doesn’t need an immediate answer, since the Terrapins don’t play again until Sept. 17.
“There’s things we can take a look at,” Edsall said. “We haven’t talked about personnel because we don’t play.”
There are logical options, though, to handle the absence of Ross. The junior already overcame an ACL tear earlier in his college career and won the starting job in camp after coming out of spring as a backup.
With Justin Anderson still shelved with a broken foot (the six-week timetable for his injury extends into late September), the three most obvious candidates all played in the 32-24 defeat of Miami.
* Keith Bowers: The true freshman (one of four to play Monday for the Terps) assisted on two tackles in his college debut. Edsall said last week Bowers impressed throughout camp with his speed. Bowers was listed as Ross’ backup on the opening week depth chart.
* Bradley Johnson: The backup at the other end spot, Johnson was not listed in the participation chart. A year ago, the sophomore had 14 tackles in 13 games and drew his first career start in the Military Bowl.
* Clarence Murphy: The redshirt freshman came out of spring as a starter, but dropped off the depth chart by the time preseason camp was over. He recorded an assisted tackle in his first college game on Monday.
Regardless of who assumes much of Ross’ workload, the Terps are now nearly as thin at defensive end as they are at linebacker, and both positions will bear monitoring as the season continues to unfold.
—- Patrick Stevens