Photo by Aaron Babcock
Nebraska Football

Mike Riley 'Remaining Optimistic' About Tanner Lee's Chances to Play

November 14, 2017
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Nebraska head coach Mike Riley is “optimistic” about quarterback Tanner Lee’s chances of playing Saturday when the Huskers visit No. 13 Penn State.

Lee entered the concussion protocol yesterday after sustaining an impact migraine against Minnesota last Saturday when a defender fell on his head. Lee missed the entire second half of that game. Riley said Monday that he “doesn’t rule [Lee] in or out right now,” but they will see how things progress later in the week.

During his weekly teleconference call on Tuesday, Riley said Lee is making good progress.

“I'm remaining optimistic,” Riley said. “He's cleared one hurdle so we'll go to the next one. He certainly won't practice today but we'll see what the next step brings but I’m remaining optimistic that he will be able to play.”

With Lee out, redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien has taken the first team reps in practice. Riley said Monday’s practice went “seamless” with O’Brien at the helm.

He also said Andrew Bunch is the No. 2 quarterback right now. Bunch has worked mostly on scout team this season, Riley called him an efficient quarterback and said the defensive staff loves his work ethic. Being on scout team though, Bunch hasn’t had many opportunities to run the Huskers’ offense, but Riley said he was pleased with how things looked Monday.

“He’s in every quarterback meeting every day, so as far as the intellect, academic part of what we’re doing, he’s in touch with it,” Riley said. “Now, he hasn’t had any reps running the offense but he took his turns as the backup yesterday and because of his year-long preparation, that was also rather seamless.”

Riley also confirmed that holder Zack Darlington will be the team’s emergency No. 3 quarterback. Darlington has missed the last three games with an illness.

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