It's been an up and down season for Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri. He began the season as the back-up to starter LeShun Daniels but took over as the primary back when Daniels suffered an injury against Iowa State. Daniels played for a couple weeks after that but was not himself and then was sat out for the next few weeks. In the meantime, Canzeri dominated the touches in the backfield and put up huge numbers.
Canzeri became one of the top rushers in the Big Ten and even took 43 carries against Illinois for 256 yards. The senior back then fell victim to the injury bug, himself. He went down early in the game against Northwestern in Evanston. Because of that, Akrum Wadley became 'the man' in the backfield until injuries caught up with him as well.
Just when Canzeri was regaining his rhythm and touches for the Hawkeyes, he got hurt in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. It was another obvious ankle injury, very similar to the injury he suffered against the Wildcats over a month ago.
His status for the Rose Bowl is uncertain but the early returns are positive as he's already getting plenty of reps on the practice field.
"I'm encouraged, yeah, based on what I've seen (in practice) I'm encouraged," head coach Kirk Ferentz said on the health of Canzeri. "You just never know. We're 10, 11 days out, so that's encouraging. Time is on our side. And hopefully he'll have the pop and explosion we need to be successful at that position. But we are encouraged now."
It is clear that though he may not be able to go if the game was scheduled for tomorrow, the senior running back should be available for the Hawkeyes by January 1. As Ferentz stated, 'time is on their side'. It is the time they sorely needed after the physical battle that took place a couple weeks ago in Indianapolis when Iowa faced Michigan State.
"We had a lot of guys come out of that last game a little bit hobbled and limited," Ferentz pointed out on Tuesday. "So really fortunate, because we probably would have had some key guys missing that next Saturday. We're a lot further down the road right now, so that's good. It's part of football, you learn to live with those things and don't make a big deal out of them. If you do that the team learns to adjust, and you roll with the flow a little bit. It's an opportunity to get guys back."
Another guys that has been limited all season for Iowa has been senior tight end Jake Duzey. He's a leader for the Hawkeyes and was an exceptional pass catcher the past few seasons. His injury during spring football prevented him from being any kind of a significant threat this year. He's still making strides to make as much of an impact as he can in the Rose Bowl.
"It's a tough injury," Ferentz explained about Duzey's knee complications. "What he's got is unpredictable. Could be two months, four months, don't quote me on those months, but there's a lot of variance in the recovery. Some injuries are predictable, ankles aren't, but some injuries are. And to that point this one has been, there's really no way to predict what's going to happen."
"Good news is the last week he has looked better, looked a little bit more like the old Jake Duzey," Kirk Ferentz continued about his tight end. "We hope that will continue the next ten days. Would be great if he was able to get involved in a positive way. We're all hoping for it. It's his last game as a Hawkeye."