"Yep, I'm done."
Those words summarize the Pat Fitzgerald response to questions about Kain Colter's status for the Illinois matchup. Colter – who struggled with injuries throughout the year – hurt his shoulder against Michigan State on a first-quarter hit from safety Isaiah Lewis. He left the game immediately and did not return.
With Northwestern stranded at 0-7 in Big Ten play, Colter and the 13 other seniors have one final chance to earn a conference victory. The senior quarterback dressed and lightly participated in Wednesday's practice, still listed as "day-to-day" in advance of Saturday's rivalry.
Asked if wearing a jersey marked a positive sign, Colter seemed fairly positive: "I think so. I'm progressing. I'm just trying to get healthy, playing it by ear. I still don't know what the final decision will be."
In what could be a tight battle with Illinois, the Wildcats might need Colter. Trevor Siemian has been inconsistent as the lone option under center, and ever since the loss to Ohio State, he's thrown 166 passes for one touchdown and six interceptions.
Colter and the Wildcats, meanwhile, could use something positive to close the terrible 2013-14 season. As people who watch the team, we can only hope we haven't seen the end of Kain Colter's career.