Bloomington – As Indiana prepares for its first road game of the season this weekend at Minnesota, IU Coach Bill Lynch remains uncertain exactly who will be making the trip.
Injuries have hit the secondary and wide receiving corps hard, and the availability of a handful of players remains very much in doubt. Safeties Nick Polk and Austin Thomas missed the Michigan State game, while safety Jerimy Finch and wide receivers Andrew Means and Tandon Doss left with injuries during the Hoosiers' Big Ten opener.
During his weekly press conference Tuesday, Lynch did appear hopeful that Polk and Thomas might be back on the field Saturday. Thomas has missed the last two games with a lower leg injury, while Polk went out with a knee in IU's loss to Ball State.
"Austin and Nick are a lot further along than they were this time last week," Lynch said.
Lynch said both worked out with the team Monday. They are expected spend the majority of Tuesday's practice on the sidelines, and they'll then return to the practice field Wednesday and the staff will then make a determination whether or not to include them on the travel roster.
Means also appears likely to play this weekend. The Hoosiers' leading receiver this season with 15 catches for 217 yards, Means was forced to the sidelines on Saturday when a swollen bursa-sac in his knee. The swelling has since subsided, and he should be ready to go barring any setbacks this week at practice.
"We have to protect it through the week," Lynch said.
While that trio could be on the field Saturday, freshman wide receiver Tandon Doss has been ruled out with a knee injury, and safety Jerimy Finch also appears to be doubtful with an injured foot. Lynch said Doss suffered a similar knee injury to Polk's when he was rolled up from behind Saturday, and Finch was still wearing a boot on his foot Tuesday afternoon shortly before the start of practice.
Quarterback Kellen Lewis also missed a portion of Saturday's game with an ankle injury, but he returned later in the game. Lynch said Lewis appears to be having no lingering effects from the injury.
"It didn't swell up bad," Lynch said. "When he was in Sunday it felt okay, and yesterday he looked good. We were lucky there."
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