Hobbling Huskers headline Day 8

It's been a theme the last week and a half it seems for the Nebraska Cornhusker football team. Injuries, injuries and more injuries - thinning out some already thin units. That trend didn't stop today as head coach, Bill Callahan gave the full list of who's out and who's back in following this morning's first session of two-a-days.

DT - Brandon Teamer - Ankle (hopefully back this week)

OL - Lydon Murtha - Deep calf bruise (out a week and a half to two weeks)

DE - Kevin Luhrs - Hamstring (out indefinitely)

SS - Daniel Bullocks - Viral infection (hopefully back this week)

OL - Seppo EvWaraye - Ankle (Out indefinitely)

LB - Corey McKeon - Concussion (hopefully back this week)

CB - Lornell McPherson - Groin (out indefinitely)

WR - Isaiah Fluellen - Hamstring (probable this week)

QB - Jordan Adams - Surgery on spleen (out indefinitely)

The list keeps getting longer for Callahan and company as the numbers of Huskers injured goes up. The aforementioned list wasn't complete however, LeKevin Smith and Brandon Rigoni not practicing as well, but no official release was made as to what their particular ailment was.

For a team that doesn't have even three weeks left to prepare, players being out are the last thing you want. After stating who was on this list of the hobbling Huskers though, Callahan said this wasn't some freak aberration. "It's common." Callahan stated. "Everyone is going through the bumps and bruises right now. Every team is grinding through training camp, working hard and trying to overcome injuries."

"Like I told the team - from the time you get into training camp until the end of the season, you are going to have nicks and bruises. It's just important to take care of your body, play smart and do the best you can."

And, if it wasn't the injuries it was something else as Callahan reported that another defensive tackle was down, but this one for good - Brandon Greeson having left the team 4 days ago. Callahan did state that this departure was of Greeson's choice.

That kind of depletion on the interior defensive line has been key in prompting offensive lineman Danny Muy to get at least some work on that side and the biggest news was defensive end, Adam Carriker being moved into the interior as well. Carriker's move isn't a total change as he worked on the interior in nickel packages, but Callahan said of the move that it was necessary. "We're a little thin." he said. "We made a decision to move Carriker inside. We've rotated him at that position and that was a position we were going to move him to anyhow in the nickel. So, we've got some flexibility in the base if we elect to go that way or we can play him in the nickel, so it's a feature position for him."

Amidst all the bad news, there was some good news, running back Tierre Green returning to practice, Callahan stating that he was working "well" and wide receiver Mark LeFlore returned as well, LeFlore nursing what was called a turf toe.

The depletions have meant that for some players, opportunities exist that didn't otherwise. Defensive tackle, Nathan Krug has gotten significantly more time as has players like Grant Mulkey at wideout and Kurt Mann at the center position. It perhaps has had the most noticeable effect though at the quarterback position. With Jordan Adams being gone, Beau Davis and Ryan Goodman have been fighting for the number two slot.

And, there is once again a new number two.

Ryan Goodman, another true freshman - this one out of New Jersey took over Davis' spot with the "twos" this week. Callahan stated of Goodman that him rising to the top and even his presence has been an interesting road. "When we recruited him here, I thought he

RyanGoodman.jpg - 88656 Bytes

Ryan Goodman's rise to number 2
is made that much more dramatic
because he's a scholarship wrestler
for NU.
was just going to play football for the fun of it." Callahan stated. "I thought his main concentration would be wrestling, which it is and still is."

"Coach (Mark) Manning had asked me to take part in the recruiting process and asked me if I was interested in recruiting him as a quarterback and I was like ‘yeah, we're always in the market for a good quarterback'."

"So, we brought him in and he's been a real pleasant surprise. It's really interesting - I've never had a chance to watch him on film. This is something that came about through the wrestling program -he's a scholarship wrestler and we had the opportunity to bring him on and join the one ‘o five."

"He's really a bright kid - he's smart, intelligent and he has an excellent grasp of the system. I was telling him yesterday as I was coming off the field with him, this system is really complex and for him to come in here and to be able to manage it and communicate all the idiosyncrasies is really impressive."

"I can only imagine where he he'll be in four or five years from now when he knows it all."

Goodman's ability to comprehend the offense as much as Callahan indicated bodes well for his spot at number two. Joe Dailey is getting most of the reps, however, as you would expect.

It's just one of many battles taking place and that will continue to take place as depth considerations and some players simply upping their level of play are making this an interesting Fall to be sure.

Nebraska will resume the normal one-practice session tomorrow, followed by two–a-days and will continue that rotation until the 22nd. On the 23rd, classes resume and after that practices will resume again - one a day, but practices will be closed to the media.

Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-476-5006

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