Maryland starting cornerback Jeremiah Johnson will be out seven-to-eight weeks with a fractured toe bone, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said in his weekly conference call Sunday. Johnson suffered the injury in the team's opening game against FIU.
Johnson, a redshirt junior, started all 12 games last year for the Terrapins, leading the team with eight passes broken up. The cornerback also recorded 43 tackles with five for a loss on the year, and entered the 2013 season with high expectations starting opposite senior Dexter McDougle.
The timeline given means Johnson will likely be back for either Maryland's contest against Clemson on October 26, or Syracuse on November 9. The Terrapins would certainly prefer the former, as they will need all the help they can get to contain Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and the Tigers' attack.
Maryland will rely on senior Isaac Goins and true freshman Will Likely to fill in for Johnson. Against Old Dominion, Goins recorded his first career interception, while Likely had a team-high 11 tackles.
Goins and Likely are both more than capable replacements (as are Alvin Hill and Jarrett Ross behind them), but it does hurt the Maryland defense. The Terps entered the season with one of the more experienced cornerbacking duos in the conference, and are now without one of them for a significant portion of the season.
Against Old Dominion, Maryland also used safety A.J. Hendy quite a bit in four-defensive back sets. Hendy may function as Maryland's fourth corner for the rest of the season, with the depth chart looking as so:
- Dexter McDougle
- Will Likely
- Isaac Goins
- A.J. Hendy