Bloomington, Ind. – During IU's camp-ending, two-hour situational scrimmage Wednesday morning, Coach Bill Lynch's squad found itself in an unusual situation.
Missing from the line-up were the team's top four wide receivers – James Hardy, James Bailey, Ray Fisher and Andrew Means. Hardy remains out for the rest of the week with a broken finger, while Fisher (hamstring) and Means (hip) are both expected back any day. Bailey, meanwhile, was wearing a flexible cast on his left arm to protect an injured elbow.
While Bailey's injury appeared to be the most significant, Lynch said he feels good about the junior's availability for the Indiana State opener Sept. 1.
"It's a freaky deal – he hit a helmet when he jumped up," Lynch said. "He was never on the ground. It's an unusual football injury…(but) as we stand here, we feel good he'll be ready for Indiana State."
The wideouts were four of a handful of players who were sidelined Wednesday. Greg Brown remains out with a shoulder injury, while sophomore defensive end Jammie Kirlew was held out with a sore hip. Right tackle Charlie Emerson is expected to miss a week of practice with a sore shoulder, and linebacker Geno Johnson and defensive tackle Joe Kremer left the scrimmage with what appeared to be minor shoulder injuries.
"We had a lot of players out," Lynch said. "We were smart about that. That gave a lot of young guys a chance to show what they can do."
Those players that were available Wednesday were put through a variety of situational drills at Memorial Stadium. From red zone to goal line to coming out of the shadow of your own end zone, Wednesday's session provided an opportunity to deal with a smorgasbord of circumstances that will come out throughout the course of the season.
"Football has become such a situational game that we work very hard on it, getting the right people on the field at the right time," Lynch said.
No matter what the situation, first-string quarterback Kellen Lewis looked extremely sharp Wednesday. The sophomore was 5-of-10 passing for 66 yards and added another 24 yards rushing on five carries. He led the offense to a first down on each of its four possessions from inside its own five-yard line in the day's first situation set, and was sharp in just about every series with the No. 1 offense.
With the injuries to the wide receivers, second-string quarterback Ben Chappell was working with an unusual array of wideouts on the No. 2 unit – Jake Kocal, Eddie Miller and Collin Taylor. After starting 0-of-6 on the day Chappell bounced back to complete five of his final eight throws, including a nine-yard touchdown strike to freshman tight end Max Dedmond against the No. 1 offense.
The ground game was also efficient Wednesday. Josiah Sears returned to the field and rushed for 32 yards on 10 carries while working with the No. 2 offense in regular situations and with the No. 1 unit on the goal line. Demetrius McCray added 31 yards on five carries and Bryan Payton had seven carries for 29 yards.
Lynch said Wednesday's situational work was important because the season is drawing near, and the opportunities to do it again will be limited.
"Once you get into game week, just about every minute you have is geared toward that particular opponent," said Lynch. "All these situational things you have to get done during camp. You may review it during the work, but our time is so limited once the school year begins you have to get it done now."
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CAMP REPORT: Situations Arise On Wednesday
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