Nova on Crutches, Out to Start Game Week

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova is out through Monday with a knee and ankle injury suffered Saturday against Nebraska, but the staff received a “positive report” said head coach Kyle Flood. Flood gave the latest on Nova’s status during his Sunday teleconference, including a breakdown of backup Chris Laviano.

Gary Nova is on crutches after a right knee injury in the 42-24 loss to Nebraska, but coach Kyle Flood did not rule him out yet for Homecoming against Wisconsin.

Receiving a “positive update” about his captain and quarterback, Flood has his sights on Tuesday morning for the next update in Nova’s recovery.

“We got a positive report today, but he’s still on crutches,” Flood said in opening his day-after teleconference. “I don’t think we’re going to know anything until probably Tuesday morning for sure. But we did get a positive report today.”

Nova’s injury took place just before halftime on a hit from Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins. Nova battled arm and shoulder issues in his first two seasons, and suffered a concussion last season against Eastern Michigan.

Nova walked off the field with trainer assistance after his injury Saturday. He signaled in plays during the second half, and left the locker room with a brace on his knee but no crutches. His availability for Wisconsin depends on progress made during the week.

“I think Gary is in good shape and in good condition,” Flood said. “ … The less you practice, the harder it gets, that's for sure," Flood said. "But Gary's played a lot of football over the last four years. That would certainly help if he is limited in practice. But we don't know that he will be."

Red-shirt freshman Chris Laviano will be the first-team quarterback when Rutgers returns to practice Sunday. Laviano can expect the full load with the ones as junior Mike Bimonte slides into a backup role.

Bimonte worked primarily on special teams since the start of in-season practices. Laviano finished the game against Wisconsin with 4-of-7 passing, 49 rushing yards and three scoring drives.

“I think it was a great opportunity for him to go out there and perform in a setting he has not had the opportunity to be in very much," Flood said on Laviano. "Do you have more confidence in him today than before you got a chance to see that? I think that's fair."

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