Sunday Notebook: Temple Aftermath

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood gets two starters back for bye week practices, and discussed the latest in the aftermath of a 23-20 victory over Temple. Rutgers has an open week before hosting Cincinnati with a chance at bowl eligibility on the line.

Instead of scrambling for roster post-game roster replacements, Rutgers finds itself in a position where it is getting depth back going into the bye week.

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood "fully reinstated" freshman cornerback Nadir Barnwell from a suspension, and expects injured starting running back Paul James to return to practice this week.

James spent the last five weeks on the sidelines following a lower-leg injury. He will practice this week pending trainer approval.

"My plan right now is to put him out there on the practice field this week and see what he looks like," Flood said. "I've gotten reports from the trainers, and in everything we've asked him to do so far, he's looked really good. But all of those things are without football equipment and without other players around him. Now we have to put him out there with the rest of the team and run plays and see how he looks."

James led the nation in rushing with 573 yards and six touchdowns at the time of his injury. He remains the Scarlet Knights' leading rusher through eight games.

"Early in the year when Paul was running the football, he certainly proved that he was the most productive running back we had. Whether or not that will be the case after this week, I think we'll have to decide that during the practice week and see if he's ready to carry it that amount of times again."

Two-Way Player?

Red-shirt freshman Ruhann Peele's future has not yet been decided. Peele moved to cornerback this week from wide receiver and could see time at both during the bye week.

"I'm certainly very pleased with what Ruhann was able to do, not just in coverage," Flood said. "… Whether or not we go forward with him still at corner or back at receiver or maybe some combination of the two, I think we'll decide that tomorrow."

Peele finished with three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Kicking Woes

Sophomore kicker Kyle Federico's struggles continued. He missed an extra point and 40-yard field goal against Temple, reopening the battle with backup Nick Borgese.

"It's not good enough right now," Flood said. "I'm not ready to say who will be the starting kicker in the next game, but to go forward and continue to miss 50 percent of our field goals is not going to be good enough. Right now we're six of 11 on the seasons, so we're slightly better than 50 percent. It's disappointing for sure."

Center Update

Starting center Betim Bujari left in the second half with an ankle sprain. He will be limited in practice during the bye week, pushing senior Dallas Hendrikson into a first-team role.


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