CHAMPAIGN - Illinois completed the season opener injury-free. But the team couldn't get through this week's practice without a few injuries.
Illini senior Eric Finney, starter at the STAR position, and freshman defensive tackle Jamal Milan, a backup, will miss Saturday's home game against Western Illinois due to injury.
On Tuesday, Illini interim coach Bill Cubit said Finney felt a "twitch" in his knee during warmups for Monday's practice. He also sat out practice on Tuesday. Sophomore James Crawford, who had two tackles (1.0 TFL) in the opener, will start at STAR. Third-string walk-on Cedric Doxy likely will get playing time too.
Milan suffered a "lower extremity" injury during Tuesday's practice, Cubit said, though the head coach did not provide details on the severity of the injury. With Teko Powell out for the season and senior Joe Fotu suspended for a second game (violation of team policy), the Illini have just three healthy defensive tackles. So backup offensive lineman Nick Allegretti moved to defensive tackle to provide depth, for at least one game.
Also, freshman TE Caleb Reams and freshman linebacker Julian Jones also were ruled out for Saturday's game. Neither played in the opener and are expected to redshirt.
Wide receivers Mike Dudek (torn ACL) and Justin Hardee (foot) remain out, as expected.