LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley broke the news Thursday that the Huskers’ wide receivers corps suffered a few losses this week. That includes freshman Jaevon McQuitty, who will have season-ending knee surgery. Junior Keyan Williams and redshirt freshman JD Spielman also are out.
Riley said Williams (hamstring) and Spielman are nursing pulled muscles. Spielman is day-to-day, while Williams is expected to be out for another two weeks.
Wide receivers coach Keith Williams spoke briefly about the losses after Thursday’s practice, calling the loss of McQuitty disappointing.
“It’s always bad to lose guys to injuries in general, but he was having a good camp,” Williams said. “He was on the right track to see what can happen as we get a little further into it. That was really unfortunate.”
As for Williams and Spielman, the wide receivers coach called their injuries “wear-and-tear” and “a coincidence.”
Holding both out is mostly precautionary to prevent long-term injuries during the season.
“With those soft tissue injuries, you don’t want to rush back,” Williams said. “You want to plan away from it, going back two weeks, three weeks. You want to be careful. You want them out there practicing when they’re able to, but at the same time you have to find that thin line between pushing them too far and having them out there.”
Other wide receivers, such as senior Gabe Rahn, have stepped up in response. Rahn, who Williams calls ‘Professor Gabe’ for his business-like approach to football, has playing experience from the 2016 season. Williams likes what he’s seen from him during fall camp.
Williams also appreciates what he’s seen from senior Brett Classen, who is affectionately called Hummer.
“They have responded really [well],” Williams said. “Hummer and Professor Gabe have been awesome. I’ve been really pleased with the way they have stepped up and took advantage of the extra opportunities.”
As for the rest of the wide receivers corps, the expectation is to step up now.
“They have to,” Williams said. “And I think they can.”