Two University of Maine football players suffered injuries during Wednesday’s intrasquad scrimmage, the first of three such sessions leading up to the Aug. 30 opener against Sacred Heart in Orono.
Sophomore running back Jordan Rowell, a transfer from Football Bowl Subdivision team Northern Illinois, suffered a knee injury. He had to be helped off the field and could not put weight on his right leg.
Junior defensive back Erick Robertson suffered a minor head injury when he tackled running back Elijah Brooks in a vicious collision that knocked off Robertson’s helmet.
Robertson was able to walk off the field on his own, accompanied by a trainer.
At UMaine’s media day on Thursday, Rowell was on crutches and his knee was in a brace. He said the knee feels better, and he was able to put weight on it.
Rowell said his knee will be re-evaluated next week.
Robertson said he underwent concussion protocol and came through it well.
He appeared in 13 of UMaine’s 14 games last season, and made 13 tackles, an interception and three pass break-ups.
Senior wide receiver Earnest Edwards and senior running back Joe Fitzpatrick of North Yarmouth did not participate in Wednesday’s scrimmage, but both said they are making steady progress and will be ready for the opener.
Edwards pulled his hamstring running a pass route this summer, and Fitzpatrick injured his back while weight training, also this summer.
Charlton said Edwards and Fitzpatrick could be back as soon as next week.
The fleet Edwards is a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association wide receiver and kickoff returner. Last season he made a team-leading 53 receptions for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 38 times for 185 yards and two TDs.
Edwards returned 24 kickoffs for 616 yards (25.67 ypr), including two for touchdowns.
The hard-running Fitzpatrick was UMaine’s No. 2 rusher in 2018 with 476 yards on 120 carries (4.0 ypc) and scored four TDs.
One of Thursday’s scrimmage highlights was an acrobatic touchdown reception by tight end and Ori Jean-Charles on a pass from true freshman Joe Fagnano.
“It was good to see [Ori] make a play. And Joe has been doing a great job. He is growing every day,” Charlton said. “There are going to be some freshman hiccups along the way, but he’s shown he can run the offense.”
Charles, a transfer from FBS school Louisville, is one of several tight ends trying to fill the void left by Drew Belcher. He was the team’s No. 3 receiver last season (46 rec., 357 yds.).
Fagnano is seeking the backup quarterback job after last year’s No. 2 signal caller, Isaiah Robinson, transferred to Hampton University.
The next scrimmage is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 10:05 a.m.