It was all about injury updates after Nebraska’s Wednesday practice as the offense continued preparation for Minnesota. So much so, head coach Mike Riley spoke to the media before offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf. Riley does not typically address the media until Thursday.
Riley’s reason to meet with the media one day early was to provide an update on quarterback Tommy Armstong Jr., who suffered a head injury during Nebraska’s matchup with Ohio State.
“Tommy has progressed what we would call normally through the [concussion] protocol to this point,” Riley said. “As you have probably gathered from similar injuries in the past, it’s always day-to-day until he’s finally cleared. And he is not finally cleared.
“He will do some football-related activity tomorrow. If he goes through all that day tomorrow, which probably means he can throw the ball around a little bit, maybe even do some pass skeleton, as long as he’s in no situation where he has no contact, that’s the kind of stuff he’ll be doing. If that passes, if everything goes good, then he would be available for the game, everything stays normal.”
As Riley noted, if everything goes well for Armstrong, he could be cleared to play against Minnesota as early as Thursday. Riley said he is hopeful.
“Yes, I anticipate [he will play],” Riley said. “You know me. I’m kind of an optimistic guy. I don’t see any reason why not at this point but we’ve been surprised before so I shouldn’t go any further than that.”
On to other news and notes from Wednesday’s practice:
>> If Armstrong is not cleared to play against Minnesota for some reason, Langsdorf feels backup quarterback Ryker Fyfe will be ready to go.
“He’s had a really good week,” Langsdorf said. “He gets rid of the ball quick, throws accurately. I think he does a nice job. [He] has good footwork, and he plays it at a fast pace which is good to see. He’s looked good all year, he just hasn’t had a lot of the game reps.”
As for Zack Darlington, he’s been balancing his time between holding and practicing at quarterback in case Fyfe starts.
“He’s good with whatever been doing,” Langsdorf said. “He’s a smart kid, and we’ve got a package of plays for him.”
>> Langsdorf said he’d like to see more rotation at the running back position against Minnesota, which has been a challenge to accomplish recently. Part of that is due to Devnie Ozigbo battling an ankle injury, which has made the Huskers reliant on Terrell Newby.
>> Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh confirmed that guard Jerald Foster may play against Minnesota after battling back from an MCL injury. Foster saw some reps during practice on Wednesday with the Huskers’ top group.
“He could spot a little bit, so we’ll see,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s day-by-day.”
The doctors gave Foster the OK to practice last week, and Cavanaugh said that he’s been a man on a mission to return ever since. Langsdorf agreed, adding that the transition has been pretty seamless for Foster.
“He’s admitted himself [that] he has to knock some rust off and get in shape, but he’s been a pleasant surprise,” Langsdorf said. “He’s looked good. It seems like he’s coming right back into the mix without any hang-ups.”
>> What was it like for Cavanaugh to get his starting group back this week?
“It was fun,” Cavanaugh said. “Sam Hahn said earlier, ‘Hey, the band’s back together.’ It was good to have them all back, all working.”
>> One final note on the offensive line: Cole Conrad will start at right tackle against Minnesota in place of David Knevel.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.