Hoosiers getting healthier

One thing that has looked better week-after-week for Indiana at coach Bill Lynch’s press conference is the injury report, because there are fewer and fewer names on it.

Offensive lineman Alex Perry and defensive end Kyle Kozak, both of whom are out with long-term injuries, are the only two Hoosiers who are listed as “out” this week.

Running back Darius Willis, who missed last Saturday’s game against Western Michigan with an ankle injury, has been upgraded to questionable. So have defensive end Fred Jones (foot) and running back Zach Davis-Walker (shoulder), who have been listed as out since the first post-camp depth chart. Davis-Walker has been practicing, but has been wearing an orange jersey that has kept him from contact.

Cornerback Donnell Jones is still listed as questionable with his hamstring injury, but Lynch said he could practice today. Linebacker Chad Sherer (hamstring), defensive end Terrance Thomas (shoulder) and left guard Justin Pagan (ankle) are also listed as questionable.

Lynch said safety Nick Polk, who missed the second half of Saturday’s game with a head injury, has been cleared to practice.

Other than that, there was little news at Lynch’s Tuesday press conference, as he mostly addressed last Saturday’s game and this week’s opponent, Akron. He praised the offensive line for its improved run-blocking and the defense for its fortitude in causing a game-saving fumble on the Hoosiers’ 5-yard-line late in the fourth quarter.

He reiterated that the Hoosiers will be focusing on eliminating pre-snap penalties this week by bringing in officials. He also said he would have the offense practice indoors at the John Mellencamp pavilion indoor practice facility with loud music pumped in to simulate the atmosphere the Hoosiers will face Saturday in their first road game at Akron, which recently opened a new stadium.

Lynch also said he is still figuring out whether he will burn the redshirts of several true freshmen. Defensive tackle Adam Replogle, listed as a starter this week, is the only true freshman who has been used so far. Backup quarterback Edward Wright-Baker and wide receiver Duwyce Wilson were expected to play, but since both of Indiana’s games so far have been close, Lynch hasn’t played either one of them. However, he said he isn’t using the beginning of Big Ten play as a deadline, and said he might continue mulling each players’ situation through the season’s mid-way point.

6 comments

  1. Ben Chappell is our QB and the hope is that he can play the entire season. I feel like it would make sense to keep Wright-Baker redshirted unless we absolutely have to use him.

  2. Finch was all over the field once he had a chance to play. Perhaps he should be the starter over Polk for the Akron game since the Zips are quick and physical.

  3. The problem with Finch being all over the field is that he can often find himself in the wrong spot — not good for a safety in the kind of sets Coach George runs.

    I see the coaches bulking him up a bit and making him an MLB after our vets at that spot graduate. His freelancing and ball-hawking mixed with his athletic ability would fit nicely into a position like that.

  4. Finch without a doubt should play more. We should utilize Mitchel Evans more and save Wright-Baker”s year.

  5. Finch will not be MLB. If he goes to LB next year, it will be at the Will spot.

    With Kiel and EWB both true freshmen, we really don’t need to redshirt them both. They need to work in Edward much of the same way they use Mitchell in the wildcat. Plus, if Ben gets hurt in week 8 there’s no decision to have to worry about going to our 3rd best QB instead of our 2nd just because you want to have him for an extra year 4 years from now.

  6. Mike, I agree that Finch is probably too small to play middle or strong side linebacker. But weak side might be intriguing.

    I don’t think there are enough snaps in a game to work in 3 quarterbacks. I think Chappell is clearly the quarterback for this year and next and needs as many snaps as he can get. However, I think Lynch is right in holding off on red shirting EWB until the last possible moment, just in case of injury, but I wouldn’t play him unless I had too. Just my opinion.

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