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Northwestern injury report: Kafka absent

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Northwestern has issued its official injury report for Saturday's game at No. 4 Iowa (ESPN, noon ET).

OUT

  • RB Alex Daniel, ankle (out for season)

  • LB Ben Johnson, leg

  • S Brendan Smith, thumb

  • OL Desmond Taylor, shoulder

The big news is here no Mike Kafka. The Wildcats starting quarterback doesn't appear on the report despite leaving last week's loss to Penn State with a pulled left hamstring. Kafka didn't practice a ton this week, but the Big Ten passing leader is expected to give it a go against the Hawkeyes. Both Kafka and head coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday that Kafka will play. Still, I'd expect backup quarterback Dan Persa to get a decent amount of snaps on Saturday. Kafka's mobility likely will be limited, and Persa can spark the option attack. The other notable absence from the report is cornerback Sherrick McManis, who has battled leg problems. Northwestern will need McManis, its top cover man, against Iowa's talented wide receivers. Smith will be missed in the secondary, and Brian Peters will get the start opposite Brad Phillips. Taylor appeared as a co-starter at right guard on this week's depth chart, but Doug Bartels will get the start.