Will Maryland overcome all the defensive injuries?
COLLEGE PARK--The first time C.J. Brown saw the hit that knocked him out of Maryland’s Oct. 5 loss to Florida State was on the team’s bus ride to the airport as the Terrapins were leaving Tallahassee.
He had received it in a text message and recalls watching it on his phone.
“I was just like, ‘Dang, I didn’t know it was that bad.’” Brown said Tuesday. “I personally didn’t know if it was one guy or two after the fact. I knew I got hit [in the back], then I was kind of rotated and another guy drilled me in the chest as well.
“My ribs were bruised and kind of knocked the wind out of me a little bit, but it was a pretty gruesome hit.”
Initially, Brown said, he was more concerned about his ribs possibly being broken and didn’t feel the typical “haze” associated with concussions until after the team plane landed back in Maryland.
He endured headaches until Monday, at which point he urged the medical staff to allow him to return, but was held back due to the team’s established concussion protocol.
“Monday the headaches went away and as soon as they happened, I knew I was ready,” Brown said. “So I was even more anxious trying to be like, ‘Hey, I’m ready. Let me go. Let me go.’
“They kind of had to pump the breaks on me a little bit.”
Brown spent the week hitting each benchmark in the evaluation process and took the field Saturday against Virginia in full uniform as the final step in the process. He warmed up with the second team before backup Caleb Rowe got the start.
He was then cleared for practice on Sunday, one day after a Rowe-led 27-26 Maryland win.
“He’s cleared, he’s the starter for us this week [against Wake Forest],” head coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday. “He’ll practice full every day and he’s ready to go.”
Maryland kicks off Saturday in Winston-Salem at 3:30 p.m.