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Maryland Injury Report: Tate, Hendy, Vellano Probable for WVU

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Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Probable isn't as good as not being listed at all, but given that it looked like Kenny Tate and A.J. Hendy were going to play last week too, I'm encouraged by their listing on the new injury report. Getting another week of rest when they were already close to playing should have them ready to go, even if they need limited snaps at the start.

(Alternatively, there's the negative view of it, which is that they weren't ready to go last week and are still not 100% certain, so maybe these injuries are tough to get rid of. But I'll be an optimist and say this probably means all systems go.)

Joe Vellano's status is less encouraging given that he's moving in the wrong direction, but I have trouble imagining someone as tough as Joe won't play if there's any way he can. I'd guess he just picked up a knock in practice and they're being a little cautious; unless something changes between now and Saturday, he should be fine as well.

The big changes are Tate and Hendy, because if they play it changes the equation for Maryland's defense. Hendy's a starter-level corner or safety and will let Maryland go with five DBs very comfortably. They couldn't do that earlier without forcing a freshman into playing time, and I imagine they'll be forced into it quite a bit against West Virginia's Air Raid.

Tate might actually be the less important addition, based on his form last year at linebacker and the way WVU runs its scheme. But he can cover very well from linebacker and has enough athletic ability to make a difference rushing the passer, as well. If he's the old Kenny Tate, it'll be a factor.

(It also makes my fantasy 3-3-5 scheme work a lot easier, but that won't happen so it's irrelevant.)

It's not all rainbows and butterflies, though. Joe Vellano is showing up as probable as well (though I'd be shocked if someone as tough as Joe didn't play), but Keith Bowers, Kerry Boykins, and Nick Ferrara will all miss the game. Ferrara's injury has apparently gotten worse, which means it's still Brad Craddock time. Boykins isn't a big loss, given that it'll just up Stefon Diggs' touches and he's probably more effective to begin with. Bowers is the biggest absence, I think; that hurts depth, especially if Vellano can't go. Maryland's really lucky they had all this front three depth stockpiled prior to the season, but even still most of it's gone.

If Tate and Hendy are on the field on Saturday, assuming Vellano is as well, I think I'll drop my prediction on how many points they score by a touchdown or so. Doesn't do much, I guess, but if Maryland's offense is clicking it might be a bigger factor than we think.