Rutgers is a banged up team, and anyone that watched the Scarlet Knights play Army can figure that out.
With a spree of injury concerns, coach Kyle Flood altered his schedule for the Maryland game week. Rutgers will not practice Sunday, and will instead focus on recovery until Tuesday.
“We’re going to spend the time in the meeting room and in the training room,” Flood said.
Rutgers gets more time with its players Wednesday because of Thanksgiving class schedules, and will work Thursday morning before it breaks for the holiday.
When asked specifically about Leonte Carroo, who left the Army game with a hip injury, Flood explained the injury outlook for his team.
“I think right now, he’s in the training room and hopefully he’s getting better,” Flood said. “I think by Tuesday we’ll have a pretty good idea. When we practice on Tuesday, I think we’ll have an idea of what we’re looking at for the week.”
Josh Hicks and the Future
Flood does not yet have a decision on Josh Hicks when it comes to a position for Maryland game week. Without a practice Sunday, the staff has more time before a final decision.
“Josh has come to me in the past and said that he wants to help the team in any way he can,” Flood said. “Josh is a really competitive guy. … You don’t want to take a guy who’s a difference maker on offense and then move him to defense and he sees limited action because, as I’ve said, I think he can really affect the game on offense, so the opportunity to move him over there and know that he’s going to play a lot would really give him a chance to impact the football game.”
Hicks crammed last minute alongside coordinator Joe Rossi without any in-depth knowledge of the Rutgers defensive scheme.
“Coach Rossi, me and him were all night in meetings he helped me on the field also,” Hicks said. We got the win.”
Hicks is the second converted running back in as many years to intercept a pass after Justin Goodwin did so in 2014.
“It was good,” Hicks said. “Coach Rossi put me in position to make the play, and that’s what happened. … [Playing safety] was everything I imagined like being back at home playing safety. Most of all, it was helping out the team.”
Owens Banged Up
Freshman receiver Dontae Owens no longer has a red-shirt available after he played against Michigan and Nebraska, but an injury kept him out of action against Army. If Owens were healthy, he would have played, Flood said.
“We’re not caught in the middle at all,” he said. “We would have played yesterday but he wasn’t available. He wasn’t dressed. He tweaked his hamstring earlier in the week and he couldn’t practice and he wasn’t available for the game. We’re hoping that’s behind him this week and we’re hoping this week that he is available. If he’s available, he’s going to play.”
Recruiting Through Distractions
When the topic turned to job security and recruiting, Flood spoke positively about his recruiting class.
“I’m not concerned about that,” Flood said. “I think that, in recruiting, we’re doing very well. I’m really excited about our recruiting class. As I’ve told you in the past, the recruits have done an excellent job of understanding who we are as a program and not being distracted by any of the other stuff that may be going on around them. I’m excited about the recruiting class.”
Flood expressed excitement about two planning early enrollment and explained why he will not discuss them in detail.
“We are allowed [to comment] but I’m not going to and here’s why,” Flood said. “There are some hitches in those rules about things that can happen down the road and what might not be a violation now can become a violation down the road if certain things happen. What I’ve said to my staff is that we’re really excited about the two young men that have signed their tenures and we certainly have had great conversations with them. But we’re going to treat them just like all of the other recruits until they sign their letter of intent.”