Bloomington – After a one-week absence due to injuries, Will Patterson and Donnell Jones are expected to be able to play tomorrow against Iowa.
Indiana University released its final injury report for Saturday's game in Iowa City, and both Hoosier defenders have been upgraded to "probable." Both were injured in Indiana's 27-14 win over Illinois two weeks ago, with Jones going down with an elbow injury and Patterson being forced to the sidelines with a hand injury.
While both are expected to play, they'll likely be wearing some additional equipment to protect their injuries. Jones has been wearing an elbow hinge brace to prevent him from overextending the elbow, and Patterson will be fitted with a protective "club" to protect his hand.
Earlier this week, IU Coach Bill Lynch said the test for both was going to be whether or not they displayed the ability to practice with the protective equipment on, and their upgraded status suggests the IU staff is comfortable with what they saw throughout the week.
"You always have to take into consideration who you are playing, the level and intensity, and the speed the football game is going to bring because you cannot put kids out on the field who are not ready to play because it is unfair to them," Lynch said.
Despite missing the Northwestern game, Patterson still ranks fifth on the team in tackles (40). Jones, meanwhile, has 14 tackles in five games.
Patterson has been the more statistically productive player, but it's the return of Jones that might be most important for IU's defense. In the three games Jones has been out injured (Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, Northwestern) IU's opponents have throw for 285.3 yards/game, compared to 223.4 yards/game in the five games he has played. That includes a 312-yard effort by Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka on Saturday in the Wildcats' 29-28 come-from-behind win.
Jones' replacement in the starting lineup, Richard Council, has struggled and had been dropped on this week's two-deep to No. 2 behind rarely used Adrian Burks.
While Indiana will welcome Jones and Patterson back to the field, a handful of players have been rule out – Darius Johnson (shoulder), Zach Davis-Walker (foot), Jarrod Smith (back) and Chris Adkins (elbow). In addition, safeties Jerimy Finch (hamstring) and Jarrell Drane (thigh) are both listed as doubtful.
Jones, Patterson Expected to Play
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