NIU QB will miss spring ball

Northern Illinois starting quarterback Chandler Harnish will miss spring practice because of a right knee injury that will require surgery, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle is reporting.

Harnish suffered the knee injury against Toledo on Oct. 17 and missed three games. Coach Jerry Kill said in mid-February that part of the reason he signed junior college quarterback Casey Weston was in case Harnish wasn’t able to go.

“We recruited a junior college quarterback that’s very talented,” Kill said. “Because if something happened with Chandler, I want to make sure we have a guy that’s been underneath center.”

Kill also noted that if Harnish couldn’t play this spring, the quarterback competition would be open. Last year’s backup, DeMarcus Grady, will challenge redshirt freshmen A.J. Hill, Jordan Lynch and Tommy Coughlin. Weston will not be on campus until the summer.

A date has not been set for Harnish’s surgery and there is no timetable on when he’ll be able to return.