LINCOLN, Neb. — Following Thursday’s practice, Nebraska coach Mike Riley talked about the injuries his No. 10 Cornhuskers are dealing with, and it sounds like his squad will be undermanned come Saturday’s showdown at No. 6 Ohio State.
Junior OT David Knevel returned to the practice field Thursday for the first time this week because of ankle injury. Riley said he will travel but likely won’t play. Senior WR Brandon Reilly has also been struggling with an injury all week, and his hamstring has the coach unsure if he will be able to go Saturday.
“My hope is that he feels better tomorrow and can go through what we do on Fridays out here,” Riley said of Reilly.
Senior TE Cethan Carter, who has not played since hyperextending his elbow vs. Illinois on Oct. 1, has been practicing all week and looks like he will be able to go. Riley did say, however, that he still wants to check with trainers a few more times before officially clearing Carter.
If Carter does play, Riley didn’t say exactly how much action he would see, only saying he is encouraged that Carter has “taken all the turns” this week.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore LB Dedrick Young will play, but Riley said he’s been “very, very” limited all week by an injured elbow.
“We’ll have to have another plan ready,” Riley said. “But Dedrick is a good player and we’d love to have him playing.”
The injury bug is nothing new for the Cornhuskers, and Riley said that injuries are something you anticipate dealing with at this point in this season.
Riley didn’t seem especially worried about replacing each player. He singled out linebackers coach Trent Bray as someone who has developed depth at the linebacker position, so if Young cannot go there will be replacements. Riley said Cole Conrad will take Knevel’s place at the tackle position.
“I think we’re well prepared for exactly what we want to do,” Riley said.