Sudfeld closer, Diamont out as Hoosiers prepare for Rutgers #iufb

The status of Indiana’s starting backfield may once again go down to the wire, but the good news is that quarterback Nate Sudfeld and running back Jordan Howard seem to be progressing from respective ankle injuries.

IU coach Kevin Wilson said Monday that Sudfeld did more during the team’s Sunday evening practice than he did at any point last week. Howard, meanwhile, was also active and running in the Hoosiers’ first practice after returning from State College.

But whether either player is available to play in Saturday’s homecoming game against Rutgers may not be clear until closer to the 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

“We’ll see how Nate is,” Wilson said. “He was cleared to play (at Penn State), but I didn’t think he was mobile enough to move around and extend plays, or protect himself. As we go through this week, we’ll see.”

Sudfeld dressed for last week’s 29-7 loss at Penn State, but did not see action as he continues to recover from a left ankle injury suffered at Wake Forest on Sept. 26. He aggravated the ankle during the second half of IU’s loss to Ohio State on Oct. 3 and hasn’t played since the third quarter of the Hoosiers’ 34-27 loss to the Buckeyes.

If Sudfeld is unavailable, don’t look for backup Zander Diamont to take his place. Diamont was injured during the third quarter Saturday, when the second of back-to-back hard hits to the turf forced him out of the game. It was a double whammy for the sophomore quarterback, who was tested for a concussion and also injured his right throwing shoulder.

Diamont wore a sling over his right arm as he walked out of the Beaver Stadium visiting locker room last week, and Wilson said Monday that he expects Diamont will be unavailable for at least the next week. During his two-plus quarters of starting action Saturday, Diamont completed nine of his 17 passes for 90 yards.

“Zander’s going to be interesting now because his shoulder issue,” Wilson said. “(We need to see) how well he can throw. He didn’t do anything (Sunday). I think he’s got a week or two maybe to be out. We’ll see. If he can play, he’ll play.”

That means Danny Cameron could once again see time at quarterback for Indiana. Cameron played the final quarter and a half at Penn State, completing six of his 16 passes for 65 yards. The redshirt freshman displayed better arm strength and accuracy than Diamont, and IU offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said Monday that Cameron and Sudfeld possess more similarities than differences.

Cameron, the son of former IU coach Cam Cameron, was a late addition to last year’s freshman class, committing to Indiana in July. Wilson said he’s been pleased with Cameron’s development over the course of the last year.

“It’s not just that he’s a coach’s kid, but he’s reasonably calm,” Wilson said. “Just his personality, he’s not over hyped up. He has been around the game. He goes out there and talks and communicates and can call the plays, plays within himself. He can distribute the ball. He throws it pretty well.”

Wilson said freshman Austin King will not be in the mix to help IU this year. King didn’t arrive on campus until this past summer, and is taking a redshirt year to get stronger and develop his command of the offense. Fellow freshman Donovan Hale started fall practice at quarterback, but has since moved to receiver.

While Sudfeld continues to work his way back and Diamont remains unavailable, walk-on Nate Boudreau will get more reps during the next week. Boudreau appeared briefly in last year’s games against Michigan State and Michigan, but sprained his shoulder against the latter and did not see action the rest of the way.

“We need both (Cameron and Boudreau),” Wilson said. “We’ll see how Zander moves along, but we’ll push hard. We don’t need Sudfeld to play this game because we’ve lost. We need him to play because he’s capable of playing and can help us win. We’ll push Nate and get Danny and Nate Boudreau ready to go.”

Also of note:
— Receiver Isaac Griffith will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Saturday’s game at Penn State

7 comments

  1. Trying not to read between the lines and to take this at face value, however; it appears that Nate and Jordan will probably not be available for Rutgers. That’s not surprising as ankle injuries take time to heal and two weeks is not much time. Rutgers is one of two games we need this season to make a bowl. It is also a must win for Rutgers. Needless to say, this puts enormous pressure on Danny Cameron. On the one hand, great opportunity for him, one that he would unlikely have at any other B1G school. On the other hand… Our running game needs to step up. I’m a bit surprised that we aren’t getting more mileage from Devine and wondering if he isn’t a little banged up as well. He had an awful lot of carries against OSU. Hopefully I’m wrong about all this but it is concerning.

  2. The D line has really been the bright spot these last two games with solid L backer play. With the way they are playing its good enough to win in conference but only if Sudfeld and Howard play. If they are out its last year all over again.

  3. A bad ankle sprain is worse than a break. ligaments are so avascular, that is, they don’t have very many blood vessels. Bones get much more blood supply. Ligaments can take a very long time to heal.

    My only really bad ankle sprain left me in a cast for two months and walking poorly for nearly a year.

    To make matters worse, if you stress a sprain the ligaments will heal just a little bit longer, making a person more susceptible to future sprains. We’ve all known the guy that always sprains his ankle now matter what you’re doing.

    Luckily, I would assume, these guys are getting state of the art treatment and both their recovery and long term outcomes will be optimum.

  4. You are absolutely right, Chet. I am one of those guys! I sprained my ankles so many times playing basketball and racquetball in my 20’s that it was either have surgery, get used to walking on crutches for weeks at a time, or switch to different sports. I suffered two compound fractures in High School, and neither hurt half as bad as some of those ankle sprains.

  5. I sure hope both are back for the game as Rutgers is going to be a much tougher game that people know. There defense plays aggressively and offense they have the top WR back with a QB with one of the best ratings in the league for efficiency. Any thought we will win this without either Nate or Jordan is dreaming.

    I worried about our OL and how good they really were based on our DL giving them real problems. I know our DL is good but if our OL was what it was made out to be then they could handle them. I just haven’t seen much but hard running from Redding and it was clear against PSU he missed openings that he should have seen instead of running into the back of our OL. It is a shame Brookins got hurt vs OSU as he has the feet to it the holes and the speed to get outside. As exciting OSU game was it was disastrous for IU football team.

    With the starters healthy IU is a much better team and I hope we can put a much better team back on the field.

  6. I think if we got Jordan back, we might have a shot at a win because the Jordan/Devine combo seems to work well. Plus getting some other guys in the mix can re-establish our run game. Of course, without the threat of an air attack, Rutgers will stack 8 in the box which will make the sledding difficult but not impossible. If Danny C can protect the ball and our defense continues to play well, this could be anyone’s game. So, I don’t see Nate as being quite as critical as Jordan. Absent both, I agree that we will have a long and ugly day.

  7. Indeed, and if NS plays, and I think he will, JH may only need to carry 10-14 times to make the air attack potent. The passing offense is what I believe Wilson was talking about when mentioning the offense was not up to par since WKU. I am also very confident the OL will handle RU’s DL. The line of scrimmage in this game , as in most, will dictate the winner of this game.

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