Cheatham Norrils was listed as the No.1 cornerback coming into the season, but now, according to a report by WTOL weekend sports anchor Jordan Strack, Norrils had been hospitalized and treated for symptoms of viral meningitis and pneumonia. He is currently not practicing with the team, and could miss all of 2014 as he recovers from these serious medical conditions.
During his hospital stay Norrils lost close to 20 pounds, per Strack's report. The good news is that Norrils has left the hospital and is back on Toledo's campus attending team meetings. Norrils has not been cleared to lift or practice with the team.
Head coach Matt Campbell told Strack that the team has yet to make a determination on Norrils's playing status this year, but that hopefully Norrils will make a full recovery and get on the football field as soon as possible.
In the last two seasons playing for the Rockets, Norrils has accounted for 126 tackles and three interceptions. In his sophomore season Norrils was awarded Third-Team All-MAC.
Norrils was going to be one of the three secondary starters coming back this year with junior free safety Chaz Whittaker, and senior cornerback Cameron Cole. If Norrils does miss the whole season, or even a few games, the Rockets will have to play unproven corners. Sophomore Jordan Martin who played in 11 games with 22 tackles last season and junior Chris Dukes would split reps at the No. 2 cornerback spot. Dukes also played in 11 games last season racking up 10 total tackles.
The Rockets take on the New Hampshire Wildcats later this month at the Glass Bowl to open the season. Hopefully we will see Norrils out there showing them some #MACtion. If not the Rockets secondary needs to think, "next man up."