With good weather today, Nebraska practiced outside on the grass and as usual, in full pads. Practice did get cut a bit short today, but as coach Frank Solich stated, at this point, that's probably going to be normal. "We are that point in the season that the guys are working very, very hard." Solich stated. "They are in excellent condition."
"We had a full padded practice. We had three team stations and one of those stations was a very brisk station, so today's practice went very well."
Just one of the brighter spots for the Huskers today aside from the mild weather was the return of Lannie Hopkins to full contact. "He's at full-contact now, he's been cleared." Solich stated. Hopkins' return is important for many reasons, foremost being Hopkins' physical presence on the field. "He's done a great job every time he's been on the field if you talk about blitzing from the defensive fronts we have in blitzing to just playing our normal defense to being a great special teams player." Solich stated.
"He's very much a contact player. If you look at the guys that knock people down in terms of special teams' play, he's got probably the most, so he's a great effort player as well as a very talented player, so we are really glad to have him back."
Along with Hopkins' presence on the field, Chris Kelsay made his first appearance on the practice field in pads for more than a month. His status is still unclear as far as the Kansas game, but it would appear that he is progressing. "He's still day to day, but he's suited up and did get some practice in, so we are moving forward."
One bit of news that wasn't so positive was coach Solich announcing the loss of back-up special teams player, Joey Robinson. "In yesterday's practice we had one player [Joey Robinson], that ended up getting an ACL injury that will need surgery." Solich stated. "He was backing up on our kickoff return team when the injury occurred."
Nebraska has one final practice tomorrow and a walk-through Friday before the 12:30 game against Kansas. The game is not scheduled to be televised or webcast.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619