Monday, October 7, 2013
Taylor Martinez progressing, status still iffy
By Adam Rittenberg
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini says it's "business as usual" regarding quarterback Taylor Martinez's status. Translation: wait and see.
Martinez, who has missed the Huskers' past two games with turf toe, is making progress in his recovery and will return to the starting job when he's ready to return. Redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. has performed well in relief, helping Nebraska to wins against South Dakota State and Illinois. Armstrong completed 8 of 13 pass attempts for 135 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions Saturday against the Illini, and added 18 rushing yards.
Pelini thinks Martinez can run at full speed again, but how fast he can push off get to full speed remains an issue.
"If he's ready to play, he'll play," said Pelini, who hopes Martinez can travel with the team to Purdue this week. "He's doing everything he can, he's working, he's in the training room."
As a three-year starter, Martinez shouldn't lose his job because of injury. But if Armstrong continues to play well, things will get interesting, as colleague Mitch Sherman wrote Saturday.
Nebraska should have little trouble with 1-4 Purdue, and another open week follows, so it doesn't make sense to risk Martinez until he's 100 percent. Pelini has confidence in Armstrong, who would make his first career road start but has "been in some hostile environments before" as a high school star in Texas. Senior Ron Kellogg III has backed up Armstrong the past two weeks.