Defensive lineman Malik Jones, a sophomore from Baltimore who was expected to back up redshirt junior Quinton Jefferson and be part of Maryland's defensive line rotation will miss the entire 2015 season after suffering a lower leg injury, the school announced Wednesday.
Jones had a great spring and was expected to be part of a defensive line rotation that includes Jefferson, David Shaw, and Kingsley Opara. Jones' injury is certainly an unfortunate loss for Maryland, but should be one that they can recover from even as they transition from a 3-4 over to a 4-3.
With Maryland now playing with four down linemen, the question becomes who will step up to fill that fourth spot? The top candidates are probably Azubuike Ukandu and Ty Tucker, who are both walk-ons. Ukandu played in two games last season and recorded two tackles against Wisconsin. Tucker didn't get into any games last year but was a first team all-state defensive tackle his senior year of high school as well as an All-American wrestler.
Another option is true freshman Oseh Saine, the only member of the 2015 class who enrolled early for the spring semester.
We'll have more on how Maryland plans to move on from Jones' injury in the coming days. Hopefully he's able to make a full recovery.