It has been nearly a week, at least, since safety Jordan Lomax and offensive guard Jordan Walsh last suited up for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Both have been out of practice, nursing injuries.
According to Kirk Ferentz, Lomax is dealing with a bone bruise, while Walsh suffered a 'soft tissue issue'. The head coach lacked any sort concern when he addressed the two absences after Saturday's practice.
"Nothing major," he responded to the question posed about the injuries to his two returning starters. "Got a bone bruise and a soft tissue issue. Hopefully by next week, early in the week, we'll have both back. The tissue thing is a little harder to predict but (it's) nothing serious."
We'll operate under the assumption that both will be prepared and ready to roll when Iowa begins their season on September 5 against Illinois State.
It is imperative that both are near or at 100 percent when the 2015-2016 campaign begins. Their contributions and leadership is vital to this year's Hawkeye squad.
Yes, Iowa's secondary is full of experience and they could seemingly produce strong results without his presence, but what he brings to the table isn't just what shows up in a box score. His presence on the field lifts the performance of others, as he's someone very reliable and the constant rock for the defense.
After all, Lomax was one of the Iowa representatives sent to Chicago for Big Ten Media Days. He is one of 13 seniors named to the 2015 Leadership Group, he was one of three juniors named to the 2014 Leadership Group, and he was one of four sophomores named to the 2013 Leadership Group.
Kirk Ferentz shared a story about Lomax on Media Day that shows what he brings to the table, and also gives an indication of what the realistic expectations are this season for the senior.
"His last spring here he spoke in front of our entire athletic department," Ferentz explained. "(Athletic Director) Gary (Barta) invited him over. There's a student athlete speaker at every athletic department meeting and (he) did just a phenomenal job. We're extremely proud of him, and I think he's primed to have a really good senior year."
Walsh's absence is more crucial in regards to on-field production. The offensive line unit needs all the experience it can muster after the departures of Andrew Donnal and Brandon Scherff at offensive tackle. True freshman James Daniels has even seen some first team snaps at practice.
It's a position group that has probably been the least impressive throughout fall camp thus far. Walsh's return to the lineup would be a welcome one to create a bit more stability to an offense in need of a jolt.
Walsh was listed as the team's starting right guard following spring practice, and was named preseason third team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports.
It's safe to say Walsh's injury comes at a position group that can least afford it.
However, both Lomax and Walsh are expected back at some point in the next week, and that needs to happen for the Hawkeyes.
Hawkeyes Need Jordan Lomax and Jordan Walsh
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