Wednesday Practice Report

As practice continues, certain things are bound to happen, you only hope they are minimal and don't end up affecting the team. That of course are the bumps and bruises that come with the sport of football. NU has not been immune to those as anyone wouldn't be, but yesterday, the Big Red experienced a setback and for this person in particular, it's just another of many that have almost been symbolic of their entire career with the Huskers.

With the typical nicks, cuts, abrasions and knocks each player incurs during any session of practice, there is always the risk that any one player or number of them may be lost at any one time. More often than not, that's only potential, but sometimes, it rears it's ugly head.

For running back turned fullback, DeAntae Grixby, it would seem that it's head has been turned towards the NU veteran almost exclusively outside of equally injured, Jason Lohr. Yesterday was no different as the oft-injured Grixby was injured once again. "He (DeAntae) has a high sprain." Frank Solich said. "He twisted his foot along with that, so they will probably cast that for about 3 weeks."

The total time Grixby is expected to be out is right around 4 to 5 weeks.

While Nebraska has been fairly fortunate in avoiding the serious-injury thus far, Solich stated that you have to feel for guys that just can't seem to find their way out from under this cloud that brings them back to the trainer, over and over again. "It's been very tough on DeAntae." Solich stated. "Coming off his last injury, he has had enough things that have interrupted him having any kind of flow to his practices and being part of a team, so that has been a very difficult part for him."

"But, he's battled through each of those and he'll battle through this one. He was playing very, very well and would have gotten playing time at the fullback spot and of course, is very important to us on special teams."

The list of injuries Grixby has suffered during his career actually precede his time as a Husker, DeAntae suffering a shoulder injury in the Shrine Game followed by a torn ACL in 1999 that sidelined him his first year with the big red. Grixby then missed 3 games in 2001 due to cracked ribs, which was then followed by his most recent injury this week.

Grixby was listed second on the depth chart behind Judd Davies, so that will move Steve Kriewald up to second and based on the current depth chart, Dane Todd will then take over the 3rd spot.

The late-arrival of Darren DeLone, late as it is has prompted at least a change in where some players are being practiced exclusively. With the thought that DeLone could be ready to play either at the beginning of the season in certain situations or full-time somewhere into the year, Dan Waldrop has been taking snaps at the right guard position. "Now that DeLone is in, we are giving Dan a few snaps at guard." Solich stated. "Because Dan has been in the system so long and has played so many snaps for us, he'll be able to pick up that position very well and it will give us some flexibility in being able to operate at both positions."

The flexibility is obviously a bonus, but the current bottom-line to this prospective switch is the physical shape of DeLone himself. "The idea of bringing a junior college kid in is to try and get them ready to play." Solich stated of the intentions with the JUCO transfer. "The slow start that he had was a setback for all of us, but tomorrow will be his first day in half-pads, so he'll eventually start to work his way into this and we'll see what he's all about."

In other news, Jason Lohr did not practice again, still nursing his back, but is expected back if not by the end of this week, early next week and the race for long-snapper doesn't seem to be a race at all, Solich stating that Richie Incognito is currently holding a large advantage over the other contenders for the position, Lane Kelly and Tyler Toline.

Nebraska will hit the field tomorrow for their one practice, Frank Solich stating that the Huskers will be doing goal-line work predominately.

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619

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