Big Ten Tuesday personnel roundup
September, 18, 2012
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Some key personnel notes and nuggets from around the Big Ten ...
- Running back Damon Bullock (head) is doubtful and running back Greg Garmon (elbow) is questionable for Saturday's game against Central Michigan. Although Garmon's injury looked pretty gruesome against Northern Iowa, he has a better chance of playing, head coach Kirk Ferentz said. Mark Weisman will start for Iowa following his three-touchdown performance, while fellow walk-on Michael Malloy will be the backup.
- The good news at running back is that Jordan Canzeri, who suffered a torn ACL in March during spring practice, has been medically cleared and should play at some point this season, Ferentz said. It's amazing how quickly some players come back from ACL tears these days.
- Quarterback MarQueis Gray is clearly a very fast healer. How fast? Gophers coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday that there's a chance Gray is available as a backup Saturday night against Syracuse despite suffering a high ankle sprain last week. Gray is still sore, Kill said. It would be a pretty big surprise to see him return so soon from an injury that can take up to six weeks to heal, but the senior seems to be ahead of schedule. Kill said Minnesota has a plan if Max Shortell struggles or gets hurt -- whether it includes using true freshman Philip Nelson remains to be seen.
- Cornerback Martez Shabazz will miss at least another week with a dislocated toe.
- Senior defensive end Pete Massaro (shoulder) and linebacker Nyeem Wartman (knee) have been ruled out for Saturday's game against Temple. Massaro, who has dealt with injuries throughout his career, missed last week's contest with Navy. Standout redshirt freshman Deion Barnes will start in his spot.
- Running backs Derek Day (shoulder) and Bill Belton (ankle) are both day-to-day for the Temple game, with Day having a better chance to return than Belton, coach Bill O'Brien said. "They're running backs," O'Brien said. "That's the nature of the position, so the next guy has got to be ready to go." That next guy would be junior Curtis Dukes.
- Left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) also is day-to-day after missing the Navy game. Smith's chances to play this week depend largely on how he moves around in practice Tuesday and Wednesday. "If he comes out today and he's gimpy, then [he] probably won't play," O'Brien said. Mike Farrell started in Smith's place against Navy.
- The Hoosiers are off this week, but starting quarterback Cameron Coffman possibly could play if there was a game. Coffman left last week's loss to Ball State with a hip pointer, and Nate Sudfeld entered the game and performed well. Coach Kevin Wilson said Coffman remains the starter, at least right now, for next week's Big Ten opener at Northwestern. "He's just not full tilt pushing off yet," Wilson said. "We'll see. We'll get him checked out here later today. ... We'll decide tomorrow and Thursday how much he needs to do. It will be our trainer's call. Will it be best to take the whole week on the low key or does he need the reps?"
- Sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson, who suffered a season-ending broken leg Sept. 8, said Tuesday that he "should be back" by spring practice. He said he can throw and put a bit of pressure on his surgically repaired leg.
- Illinois starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase said Tuesday that his injured ankle continues to improve and he's hopeful he'll play Saturday against Louisiana Tech after missing the past two games. Scheelhaase, who has been practicing, told local reporters that his ankle is further along than it was at this time a week ago.