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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rutgers' training staff deals with busy week with rash of injuries

Head coach Kyle Flood said he leaves an availability decision on quarterback Gary Nova to Rutgers' medical personnel. (AP Photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Jamil Merrell estimates he played 10-12 snaps Saturday against Eastern Michigan, his first game of the season. Merrell suffered a foot injury Aug. 10 in the team's first scrimmage.

He says he can play a larger role, but it it out of his hands.

"I'm ready," Merrell said Monday. "I have to listen to the doctors and all that, listen to the coaches. I want to do much, much more. It's more than that. Just have to pay attention, listen to the coaches, listen to what doc and all them have to say. How many plays they want me out there is how many plays I'm going to do."

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That decision falls to Dave McCune, Rutgers' head football trainer, a pair of assistant trainers and a combination of other team medical personnel. Head coach Kyle Flood said Monday the availability of Gary Nova, dealing with a concussion, falls only on Rutgers' medical staff.

"That's really all that matters," Merrell said. "They're a great staff down there. Just work with them, listen to them, see what they have for me to do and stick to it."

RELATED: Jamil Merrell updates condition of twin Jamal Merrell's after kidney injury

Rutgers' team website lists Mike Pawlusiak and Arno Rheinberger underneath McCune. No other medical personnel appear. 

The team's Hale Center facility includes a wet room with hot and cold tubs, and a Hydroworks treadmill, according to its website.

Merrell says Rutgers' medical staff watch how he holds up on game days, monitor him throughout the week and determine future status. It's worth taking note as Arkansas, Rutgers' marquee nonconference opponent, arrives Saturday in Piscataway.

MORE: A film look at Quron Pratt's touchdown return

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