The Cradle of Quarterbacks is looking for reinforcements. Again.
Purdue announced Wednesday that quarterback Rob Henry had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during practice a day earlier.
School officials did not say how much time they expect Henry to miss pending more tests.
Just last fall, Henry took over the offense when starting quarterback Robert Marve tore the ACL in his left knee. Henry was listed as the No. 1 quarterback on Purdue’s depth chart since practice opened earlier this month.
”Rob Henry is a huge part of our football program, our heart goes out to him,” coach Danny Hope said in a statement.
His absence could open the door for Marve, the transfer from Miami, to reclaim the starting job. But it’s unclear whether Marve is 100 percent just yet.
Marve bruised his left knee Sept. 18 against Ball State, was cleared to play and then tore his ACL the following week against Toledo.
Henry replaced Marve the next week and led Purdue to conference-opening victories over Northwestern and Minnesota. Against Ohio State, Henry cut the index finger on his throwing hand and was in and out of the lineup afterward.
Many expected the battle between Henry and Marve to be the most watched on campus this fall.
”It’s been a lot of rehab,” Marve said earlier this month. ”It’s been a lot of time focusing on my knee, trying to get quads and my hamstrings strong again around my joints. I’m still fighting the battle a little bit.”
Henry finished the year 86 of 162 with 996 yards, eight TD passes and seven interceptions. He also had 104 carries for a team-high 547 yards and four TDs, becoming the first quarterback in school history to lead the team in both passing and rushing.
In the spring, he was named one of the team’s co-captains.
Marve, a highly touted recruit who was expected to be the next big thing in Miami’s rich quarterback tradition, would obviously be the No. 1 option at a school with a long list of famous quarterbacks that includes Bob Griese, Len Dawson, Gary Danielson and Drew Brees.
In 2008, Marve started 11 games for the Hurricanes and was 116 of 213 passes with nine TDs and 13 interceptions. He sat out in 2009, after transferring to Purdue, but tore the ACL in his left knee. He finally earned the Boilermakers starting job last year, but didn’t even make it through four full games before tearing the ACL again.
And now he finds himself answering questions about the allegations swirling at Miami.
Marve was one of the players rogue Miami booster Nevin Shapiro accused of accepting improper benefits in a story first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Purdue officials have already contacted the NCAA and said they were told that Marve’s eligibility would not be in jeopardy.
”A lot of people talk about our quarterback situation saying if you don’t have a starter, you don’t have a quarterback,” Hope said earlier this month. ”I disagree. We have two really good quarterbacks (Henry and Marve). Both of those guys are great players, great people, exceptionally talented, outstanding team players, and really want to win.”
If Marve isn’t completely healthy, the Boilermakers may turn to sophomore Sean Robinson or junior Caleb TerBush, who was academically ineligible last season.
Robinson started one game as a freshman but didn’t look comfortable against Wisconsin. He was 41 of 91 for 301 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions in 2010.