Players were ready to get a few days off to spend with their family, especially around the Christmas holiday.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt (knee scope) returned to practice, but was very limited in what he could do. However, Britt was ahead of schedule and will now begin to work his way back into receiving regular reps in practice. He was not made available to speak to the media about his rehab.
"Him (Britt) just being out here brings energy, enthusiasm to the offense," wide receiver Tiquan Underwood said. "It was nice seeing him out here and moving around a little bit."
The offense as a whole is finally getting healthy, now that quarterback Mike Teel is at full health and the days off should help Britt contribute during practice next weekend.
RU Head Coach Greg Schiano said that the game plan for the game against Ball State (7-5) has begun to be implemented in the past couple of days of practice.
"They (Ball St.) have a tremendous quarterback," Schiano said. "He is one of the best we have played against in a long time. They have a great tight end and a great wide receiver, so they have three guys that as good as we have played against all year."
The loss of running back Kordell Young provided and the chance to freshman Mason Robinson, who has taken full advantage of his time to shine.
On the season, Robinson averaged 5.9 yards per carry in limited duty. Schiano said that he thought that Robinson could provide the Scarlet Knights with a home run threat down the road.
"He (Robinson) is going to be a great player," Schiano said. "He is a great leader, he is what you want on your team."
However, Robinson is also a student of the game and has worked very hard this season in absorbing as much information as he can.
"Mason is just a tremendous back," running back Ray Rice said. "Not only a great backup to me, but a great listener and a great leaner as well. He wants to learn everything and I think that is special in him because his athletic ability will take care of itself."
When Rice was asked what he planned to do for the holidays, he had one answer, "Sleep." A football season is naturally grueling, but this year has provided a lot of nagging injuries at a number of positions.
The next four days off should provide a chance for players to get caught up on their rest and to get their bodies ready to go through one more grind before the International Bowl on Jan. 5.
"Absolutely, get your mind off of football and just relax," Underwood said. "That makes you hungrier when you come back and get back at it."
Rutgers will return to practice on Dec. 27 with five practices left in New Jersey. The team will fly up after the New Year and practice in Toronto prior to the International Bowl.
Once the Scarlet Knights resume practice, it will be much like an extended week of practice and it will provide the team with the structure of a regular practice week.
"It is just like we are in season again," Underwood said.
-Sophomore linebacker Blair Bines broke his jaw again during practice on Friday. Bines suffered the same injury just prior to the start of the season.
"He (Bines) broke his jaw," Schiano said. "Same spot and he broke it two ways, rebroke it in one of them."
Cornerback Leslie Jackman and defensive end Chenry Lewis will both transfer following the conclusion of the season.
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