- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Some injury news and other personnel nuggets from around the Big Ten entering Week 7:
Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray participated in Sunday's light practice and will be on the field later Tuesday when the team begins its game-week prep for Northwestern. Gray has missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain and hasn't been practicing. Coach Jerry Kill is "cautiously optimistic" Gray has a chance to play against the Wildcats, but added during his weekly news conference that Gray wouldn't play if the game were today. Left guard Tommy Olson (knee) will practice today and is questionable for the game.
Michigan State tight end Dion Sims (ankle) will miss Saturday's game against Iowa, leaving the Spartans without their leading receiver (24 receptions, 313 yards). Three players -- redshirt freshman Paul Lang, sophomore Andrew Gleichert and junior Derek Hoebing -- are listed as potential starters on the depth chart for Iowa. Lang has recovered from a serious back injury that forced him to redshirt the 2011 season, move home for rehab in the spring and take some classes online. Michigan State made several other two-deep tweaks, including moving running back Nick Hill off of punt returns and listing Chris Norman and Taiwan Jones as co-starters at outside linebacker.
Iowa will have top cornerback Micah Hyde on the field at Michigan State. Hyde was arrested during the weekend for public intoxication and interfering with official acts. Because he's a first-time offender, Iowa's student-athlete conduct policy doesn't require him to miss a game. Hyde won't serve as a captain Saturday for the first time this season, but coach Kirk Ferentz praised him during Tuesday's news conference. Fellow cornerback B.J. Lowery (wrist) had a setback during the open week and could miss Saturday's game. Running back Damon Bullock (concussion) will play this week and share some carries with Mark Weisman, while it's possible Iowa uses a redshirt for running back Jordan Canzeri (knee).
Purdue running back Ralph Bolden (knee) finally could return this week against Wisconsin. Coach Danny Hope said the staff knew Bolden was close last week but wanted to see him take more reps in practice, especially as a blocker against blitz pickup. "We are a lot more comfortable about playing Ralph this weekend, and I think Ralph is more comfortable as well," Hope said. Caleb TerBush remains Purdue's starter at quarterback, but the coaches will decide later this week if they'll use a rotation with TerBush and Robert Marve or just use Marve when needed. Hope understands why many Purdue fans want to see more of Marve, pointing to Marve's strong arm and playmaking ability. But the coach still clearly sees TerBush as the steadier option. "The big plays certainly stand out in the minds of the fans and mine too," Hope said. "That's why we are committed to getting him ready and playing him in the ball games. I'm not perplexed as to why some of the fan base would prefer Robert Marve. That's a tendency on a national level. The No. 2 quarterback is always the favorite."
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson expects to play both of his top quarterbacks -- Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld -- Saturday against No. 8 Ohio State. Coffman made his third consecutive start last week against Michigan State and played brilliantly in the first half, but Wilson says there continues to be little separation between the two, noting that Coffman still hasn't won a game as the starter. Sudfeld has practiced a bit better than Coffman this week, while Coffman had the edge last week in workouts. Top tight end Ted Bolser won't face any discipline from the Big Ten after being ejected from the Michigan State game and will play against the Buckeyes.
Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead should be fine for the team's Oct. 20 game at Northwestern, coach Bo Pelini said Tuesday. Burkhead injured his left knee in the third quarter last Saturday against Ohio State and didn't return. He won't practice much during the open week, but "it all settled down," Pelini said of the injury. "He's fine."
Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne, who left the field last Saturday at Wisconsin in an ambulance, has recovered well but still must pass a concussion test, go through a workout without any symptoms and then participate in some practice time this week to have a chance to play at No. 25 Michigan. Redshirt freshman Eaton Spence will start in Hawthorne's place if he can't play.
8hBrian Bennett and Austin Ward