IOWA CITY, Iowa - Lost in Tuesday's news that Derrick Willies was transferring out of Iowa was the confirmation by Coach Kirk Ferentz that LeShun Daniels would miss the rest of the regular season with an injury.
“It is unfortunate that LeShun will miss the remainder of the Big Ten season,” Ferentz said in a press release Tuesday. “We have full confidence that LeShun will work hard to return to full strength as soon as possible.”
The coach followed up that statement at his press conference saying the sophomore running back would be out six weeks. He fractured his ankle during practice last week, according to a source close to the situation.
Daniels served as the teams fourth-team running back. In four games this fall, he rushed 14 times for 42 yards and a touchdown. He caught a pass for five yards.
Daniels played as a true freshman last year. Ferentz said the program would apply for a red-shirt year for the running back but the odds were against him getting it.
"We'll appeal and take a shot at it," Ferentz said. "He's had two injuries this year. But I think he's played in four games, and we're past the 50 percent. So it just depends on how the committees look at it. I would not want to try to predict that."
"(Canzeri is) a little dicey," Ferentz said. "We'll see where it's at. Like I said, if we played Saturday, it's probably a handful of guys out. But that's October. October, November, it's going to be that way."
"They're the only two guys left, I think," Ferentz said. "You've got Mark (Weisman) and Damon, obviously, experienced players, and you have Jonathan who has been getting some playing time and we've worked Akrum in a little bit on special teams, so at least he's getting his feet wet out there as a player. We'll have to have everybody available because we're running out of guys."
SPEARMAN WILL MISS TWO: Ferentz announced on Saturday that Reggie Spearman would miss a minimum of one game after he was arrested for OWI during the weekend. The coach updated that punishment on Tuesday.
"He'll be sitting out this and next week, a two-game suspension, and then he'll be back in good standing," Ferentz said.
Spearman, a true sophomore, started the first seven games of the season at weak-side linebacker. He was expected to be replaced by Josey Jewell, a redshirt freshman.
"(Jewell) broke a bone in his hand. He missed the first two games. It was pretty much a dead heat between Josey and Reggie in camp, and then obviously the injury kind of pushed Reggie forward on that one," Ferentz said. "He's played well when he's been out there and doing a good job on special teams. This will increase Cole Fisher's role on the whole deal. And Travis Perry's a guy that we can put around there, too. I wouldn't be shocked if all three guys played at some point."
"We did the plus-50 punting with Connor, and Dillon handled the rest of it. It's still very close competition," Ferentz said.
The coach said it's still to be decided if Kornbrath and Kidd will share the duties Saturday against Northwestern (11 a.m. CT, BTN) as they did against Maryland. "We'll decide this week. We'll decide this week when we see how practice looks," Ferentz said.