IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa starters Greg Mabin and Cole Croston will not play this week against Illinois because of injuries, coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference.
Mabin, a cornerback, injured his lower right leg in practice last week and is on crutches. During his press conference, Ferentz said Mabin will be out for the rest of the regular season because of a fracture.
Croston, a right tackle, suffered a leg injury last month and has played in just one of the last four games. Neither played last week in Iowa’s win against Michigan.
Tight end George Kittle’s status has not been determined. He injured his right foot against Purdue and played sparingly against Wisconsin (Oct. 22) and Penn State (Nov. 5). He did not dress against Michigan last week and wore a walking boot.
“Right now, this week for sure, Greg and Coe will not play,” Ferentz said. “George has not done anything yet this week. He’s not ruled out.”
All three players are seniors, which makes their loss difficult for Ferentz.
“It’s hard,” Ferentz said. “You hate to see any player get hurt. Every coach in America will tell you that because you watch this guys work so hard. The reason they’re working is to have a chance to play. They only play 12 games. It’s really tough when a guy is a on the sideline. It’s especially hard when it’s a senior. Your heart aches for them.”
Iowa (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) plays at Illinois (3-7, 2-5) at noon ET on BTN.