Sudfeld hopeful he can play at Penn State #iufb

It may not become clear until late this week whether Nate Sudfeld will be able to play Saturday at Penn State, but the Indiana quarterback said Monday that he’s hopeful a lingering ankle injury won’t keep him out of action.

Sudfeld evaluated himself Monday as “day-to-day,” previewing a week ahead that will include plenty of medical rehabilitation and potentially very little practice. The senior said he could be ready to play Saturday even without practicing this week, but it remains to be seen whether mental reps will be enough for both Sudfeld and the Hoosiers’ offense to enter the weekend ready to go.

“As a quarterback, you really need to get practice reps to be good,” Sudfeld said. “It’s not just about me running the ball, or whatever. It’s about me having timing with my receivers, knowing where they’re going to be, feeling the routes and things like that. It’s really going to be a lot of work to get those mental reps and make sure I’m on the same page with those guys. Physically, I need to make sure I’m with them as well.”

Sudfeld’s ankle injury dates to the Wake Forest game on Sept. 26, when he injured himself during the fourth quarter of IU’s 31-24 victory in Winston-Salem. Sudfeld aggravated the injury during the first half last week against No. 1 Ohio State and said he continued playing on it thanks to a wave of adrenaline that carried him as far as the third quarter. By then, however, the ankle became too unstable to plant during the throwing process.

Sudfeld felt it was noticeable on his last two drives midway through the third quarter, when he tossed his final two passes of the day into the turf. At that point, he approached IU’s training staff about getting taped. Backup Zander Diamont entered the game and remained the IU quarterback over the final quarter and a half. Sudfeld said he asked to go back onto the field, but IU coach Kevin Wilson did not allow it.

Diamont helped IU to a five-play, 55-yard scoring drive and also found the end zone on a 79-yard touchdown run with 10:03 left in the fourth quarter. He was named IU’s offensive player of the week for his role in nearly leading the Hoosiers to the game-tying touchdown in the final seconds.

“It started to get a little more stable with tape and all that stuff,” Sudfeld said. “But at that point, Zander had led us to a touchdown drive and was getting confidence.”

Sudfeld’s ankle won’t be the only one worth monitoring this week. IU running back Jordan Howard was also absent for much of the game after hurting his ankle during the first half against the Buckeyes.

Wilson said neither Sudfeld’s nor Howard’s ankle injury is believed to be serious, but declined to speculate on a timetable for their returns. Devine Redding replaced Howard and scored two touchdowns, while averaging 1.5 yards on his 30 carries.

“We’ve got confidence in Zander, we have confidence in Devine,” Wilson said. “We’ll find a run game. We have confidence in Alex Rodriguez. You can ask Alex. He’s mad he doesn’t have a scholarship and he’s not the starter. He’s pretty good. He thinks he is. He’ll play well, so will Andrew Wilson. We’ll keep moving. I don’t think any of those injuries are major, though. So is it by Saturday? A week? 14? Time will tell. We’re not going to push it.”

9 comments

  1. Hope he heals fast, but if he can’t move in the pocket, he should not play and live to fight another day. He has to avoid the risk of taking big hits that could cause a more severe injury. If he’s lame, the PSU pass rushers will pin their ears back and be all the more determined to sack him.

  2. The best news about the injuries so far is we have a real option at backup QB and he will make the RBs better as defenses have to factor in Zander’s running. I am more concerned with Howard’s injury this week as PSU’s defense is good especially up front. On the other hand, if Zander is QB Redding and other RBs will be better as defenses must assign someone to account for Zander as he is a threat to score when he runs the ball.

  3. I like Zander, he provided a huge spark when he entered the game.
    Offense looked stagnant, probably due to Sudfeld’s injury. It just
    looks like he’ll (Zander) break easy. And did I hear the TV guy right,
    something about he looks like a Junior High kid out there?

    Another positive, the seldom used ‘Z’ on the keyboard gets some
    exercise.

  4. You have to run AD smartly or he will get hurt also. He is not physical like OSU QBs. AD is limited on how much physical contact he can take. AD does get on the ground, usually. The question is will receivers help him and catch the ball. I have seen him make some good dropped ball passes. If receivers will catch the ball and give Redding and (hopefully Howard) but probably not Howard and offensive line play well but whoever a chance to run then, AD can sneak in a run here and there. 7 to 10 if he plays entire game. 3 to 5 if he plays half a game. AD needs to play some even if Sudfeld is ready unless Sudfeld is playing at a very high level.

  5. v13 I get your drift but w/o the arm of NS to threaten stretching the field they’ll fill the box like IU did to OSU. So I see it as a 0+-, as what we gain by a QB who can create with his feet but he does not yet have a respected arm. Maybe he can show me different but he is going to have to. In fact I think ZD is probably a suitable talent for a backup QB but I am not yet convinced he is the QB of IU’s future. I am open minded on the subject but it is my feelings as of now. I do wish him the best.

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