COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A rash of injuries is again threatening to ruin a potentially successful season for Maryland's football team.
A year ago, the Terrapins lost four quarterbacks as a 4-2 start turned into a six-game losing streak and a 4-8 finish.
The Terrapins were 5-1 this year before their top two receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, each broke a leg last week in a 34-10 loss at Wake Forest.
Diggs and Long are among nine players out for the season, six on defense.
"It's definitely tough," quarterback C.J. Brown said Tuesday. "I feel for all those guys, not only Stef and Deon, but all the other guys that have gone down before them. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. So many guys have gotten nicked up. It's more adversity that this team has to face. We went through it last year.
"But we're still 5-2. We can write our own story. We've got a big game this week that we're focusing on."
That would be a homecoming matchup against No. 9 Clemson (6-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
At this point, it's unclear who will be throwing the ball for Maryland (5-2, 1-2). Brown sustained a concussion against Florida State on Oct. 5 and was ineffective before being pulled against Wake Forest.
Coach Randy Edsall, a Susquehannock High School graduate, stressed Tuesday that Brown was removed because he didn't appear to have completely recovered from his concussion, despite being cleared to play.
"Going into the game I felt really good," Brown said. "Obviously I took some hits in the game early and coach made his decision."
Edsall will wait before deciding whether Brown or Caleb Rowe will start against Clemson.
"I'll take a look this week as we practice and to see where we're at, then at the end of the week, as we go into the game, we'll make a decision to who will be the guy that will go," the coach said.
Brown conceded that he's feeling the effects of being pounded in the pocket.
"I'm still getting treatment on a lot of things," the fifth-year senior said. "I'm just trying to take care of my body. That's the biggest thing."
The last thing the Terrapins need is to add Brown's name to an injury list that includes three defensive linemen, two defensive backs and a linebacker.
"All I can say is that it's football," Edsall said. "This sport, it's pretty much 100 percent guaranteed that you're going to get hurt. It's unfortunate that we've had the injuries that we have, but there's nothing that we can do about it."
Except, perhaps, plug in the next man on the depth chart and hope for the best.
The starting wide receivers for this Saturday's home game against No. 9 Clemson are listed as Amba Etta-Tawo, Levern Jacobs and either Malcolm Culmer or Nigel King. The foursome has combined for 32 receptions, 501 yards and two touchdowns.
Diggs had 34 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns. Long had 32 receptions for 489 yards and a score.
"As a defensive back, playing against them is definitely something you look forward to," Clemson cornerback Martin Jenkins said. "Of course, I wish they could (play). I wouldn't wish injuries on anybody."
Surely, Jenkins will have an easier task Saturday facing the backups.
"I wouldn't say easier. Whoever we play, whatever the personnel, we have to go out there and do our job," Jenkins said.
Jacobs, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, is eager to fulfill his role as next man up.
"I'm ready," he said. "I've been waiting for my chance to step up and do what I can to contribute to this team."