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Thursday, November 6, 2008
Conteh out, Bacher probable for Northwestern


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Injuries continue to hit Northwestern at key positions, as senior running back Omar Conteh will miss Saturday's game against No. 11 Ohio State with a knee injury. Conteh was inserted into a starting role last week after leading rusher Tyrell Sutton sustained a dislocated wrist Oct. 25 at Indiana.

Conteh's injury occurred during a noncontact drill at Wednesday's practice. It doesn't appear to be season ending, but sophomore Stephen Simmons is expected to make his first career start against Ohio State.

"While we're disappointed for Omar, we're excited for the next man's opportunity, in this case Stephen Simmons, Jacob Schmidt and Scott Concannon," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Our players are prepared to step up and fill in at running back."

There was some good news on the Wildcats injury front, as starting quarterback C.J. Bacher has been upgraded to probable for the game with a hamstring injury. Fitzgerald said Bacher would start if healthy, though junior Mike Kafka remains part of the plan after an excellent performance at Minnesota.

Conteh struggled last week, rushing for only 12 yards on 12 carries. Simmons gives Northwestern more speed but much less experience in the backfield.

Northwestern's full injury report is below.