- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen promised this week quarterback Jordan Steffy would come in and win a game for the Terrapins at some juncture this season.

If it does happen, it probably won’t be this month.

Steffy will miss at least the next three weeks with a fractured right thumb. Chris Turner, who lost out to Steffy in last month’s camp competition and briefly contemplated a transfer, will take over as Maryland’s starter.

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“It’s a little bit crazy,” Turner said. “I didn’t see it happening, obviously. The week I was a backup, I said I had to be ready for anything. Here I am now.”

Josh Portis, who appeared for four snaps in Saturday’s season-opening 14-7 defeat of Delaware, also will play Saturday when the Terps (1-0) visit Middle Tennessee (0-1).

It is the latest in a series of setbacks in Steffy’s star-crossed career. After playing sparingly his first three seasons in the program, Steffy started the first five games last fall before a concussion suffered on a helmet-to-helmet hit sidelined him and ultimately cost him his job.

Steffy won the job again last month, besting Turner and Portis in a camp competition. Friedgen’s choice didn’t sit well among fans, and many booed Steffy as he struggled in the second half of a 10-for-18, 115-yard, two-interception outing against Delaware.

The injury occurred when Steffy hit his hand on a defender’s helmet on the penultimate play of the third quarter Saturday. The fifth-year senior didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday, and Friedgen said yesterday a ligament came off part of the fractured bone.

Steffy, who did not meet with reporters yesterday, could have opted for season-ending surgery. Instead, Friedgen said Steffy could return in three to four weeks and will undergo surgery after the season.

“Jordan, he had tough luck again,” Turner said. “I don’t know what else to say. He hurt his thumb. I’ve jammed my thumb a thousand times, and it’s the worst injury you can have as a quarterback, and it’s just a finger.”

Though Friedgen defended Steffy from fan criticism this week, he now will try to win with Turner, who started the final eight games last season.

Turner took over the job last season when Steffy was injured and helped Maryland rally in the second half at Rutgers. Later, he led an injury-decimated team to a victory over Boston College and helped the Terps salvage their season with an appearance in the Emerald Bowl.

Turner’s second act will begin far earlier this season but will come under similar circumstances. However, Friedgen said his greatest concern with Turner isn’t ability.

“It’s not like he’s a rookie going in there,” Friedgen said. “He’s shown what he can do. What he has to do is do it consistently. That’s his thing.”

Just hours before Turner decided to remain with the Terps, he mentioned the natural course of a season dictated a backup probably will be used.

He proved prescient, and keeping that possibility in mind as he prepared the last two weeks could help him as he reassumes the starting job.

“It plays a huge role because it’s so inevitable,” Turner said. “As a starter, for one reason or another, things can happen. Injuries always are the biggest thing. Unfortunately, Jordan got injured, and that’s why you prepare as a backup. Quarterback is a funny position. It’s really the only position you don’t play as a backup unless something happens. In that sense you need to be ready.”

Notes - Friedgen said the infected laceration on tailback Da’Rel Scott’s left leg has cleared up. The sophomore practiced the last two days. Friedgen also said “there’s a good chance” sophomore tailback Morgan Green will play. …

Wide receiver Tony Logan moved over to quarterback to run the scout team. …

Friedgen said safety Dominique Herald, who returns this week from a one-game suspension, could play on two special teams units.

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