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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rutgers' Kyle Flood updates availability of captain Jamil Merrell for Norfolk State

A lower-body injury sidelined Jamil Merrell in Rutgers' Week 1 loss at Fresno State. (Tyler Barto)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Kyle Flood's weekly injury report lists Jamil Merrell's status (foot) for Saturday's home opener against Norfolk State as a game-time decision.

Merrell, a fifth-year senior, missed Rutgers' season opener Thursday at Fresno State with a lingering lower-body injury. Flood said Friday that Merrell was close to playing, but he held him out.

"(Rehab) is all I can do right now," Merrell said. "With my desire and passion, I try to push it sometimes. But I just have to stay patient, stay with the doctors."

Starters Paul Carrezola and Andre Civil are also listed as game-time decisions.

Merrell led Rutgers' defensive line in 2012 with 5.5 sacks, with 4.5 after he converted to the three-technique. He returned to end in spring practice before suffering the injury Aug. 10 during a team scrimmage.

MORE: Inside Jamal Merrell's heavy workload at Fresno State

Rutgers recorded one sack against Fresno State as Merrell looked on in street clothes. His return would be a boost to defensive line thin at end. 

Rutgers rotated only three players at the position against Fresno State. One, David Milewski, played in his first game since 2011. 

"You just have to step up to the challenge," Merrell said. "You can't sulk on the negative. You have to stick to the positive. The depth, we just have to keep going at it. (Defensive line coach Jim Panagos) is going to do his best to rotate."

MORE: Dave Cohen takes on biggest task as defensive coordinator

Sophomore Max Issaka remained sidelined because of injury. Myles Jackson and Jamil Pollard have retired because of injury, Flood announced Monday.

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