University of Toledo coach Matt Campbell on Saturday night assured everyone his quarterback will be back this season.
On Monday, Campbell took the good news a step further. Terrance Owens might not miss a game, the coach said.
Owens, who sprained his left knee and did not return early in a win over Eastern Washington, is questionable for Saturday’s Mid-American Conference opener at Central Michigan. Campbell reiterated the senior captain did not suffer major damage.
Owens ran around Sunday at practice, said Campbell, which is an encouraging sign less than 24 hours after Owens left the field on a motorized cart. The team did not practice Monday, and Owens spent much of the day at the football facility rehabilitating.
"I certainly think he’s got a chance to play this week," Campbell said.
Campbell added he will reevaluate Owens’ status Wednesday and determine whether Owens or true freshman Logan Woodside will start against the Chippewas. Woodside made his debut Saturday and led the Rockets to two second-half touchdown drives in a 33-21 win.
Coaches and teammates know by now to not count out Owens, who is regarded as one of the toughest players on the team. He labored early last year with a sprained ankle, continued to play, and then sustained a sprain to his other ankle. Owens missed only one game, the regular season finale against Akron.
Campbell said his handling of Owens’ ankle injuries will not convince himself to be more cautious in how he deals with Owens’ knee ailment.
"If it was an ankle injury I’d tell you maybe, just because I know the history of that," Campbell said. "This one, we’re fortunate, is not. This one is [about] how fast can his body heal, that he’s ready to go out there and play and do what we ask him to do. Those two things will be important as we make an educated decision going forward on what to do."
In other injury news, Campbell said middle linebacker Chase Murdock will be available after sitting out Saturday with an undisclosed injury. Also, safety Jordan Haden is "50-50" to make his first appearance after fracturing his collarbone in camp.
Running back David Fluellen, who missed time late in Saturday’s game, used crutches to get around Monday and wore a protective boot on his left foot. Campbell said Fluellen is merely taking precautionary measures and will play Saturday.
FORMER ASSISTANT DIES: Mike Dunbar, who served as Toledo’s offensive coordinator from 1992- 1996, died Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 64.
Dunbar coached most recently at Northern Illinois where he was offensive coordinator for one game in 2012 before stepping down to focus on his health.
Toledo set 21 offensive records and went 36-18-2 with Dunbar as offensive coordinator.
DETMER HONORED: For the second week in a row kicker Jeremiah Detmer was named MAC West special teams player of the week. Detmer was 2 for 3 on field goals and tied the UT record for consecutive makes with 23. His streak ended with a miss before halftime of 35 yards.
Contact Ryan Autullo at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.
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