Rutgers senior linebacker Jamal Merrell will miss his third consecutive game when the Scarlet Knights play SMU on Saturday.
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Merrell (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) has missed wins over Eastern Michigan and Arkansas with what coach Kyle Flood has called a "kidney issue" without getting into specifics.
Merrell was seen as a potential third-day draft pick before the season. He runs well and has good size, and had been especially good against the run, though his pass-rush and coverage skills need work.
Merrell was third on the team in tackles (83) and fourth in tackles for loss (8.5) last season.
Sophomore Quentin Gause (6-1, 220) will start in Merrell's place. He is fourth on the team with 21 tackles and is tied for the team lead with 4.5 tackles for loss.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.