Wilson: Freeland could be out for season

After missing all but two games with a hip injury last season, kickoff specialist Nick Freeland could miss the rest of this season with an ACL injury, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said Wednesday.

“He got a knee, hurt a knee last week,” Wilson said. “He’s got an ACL deal and he’ll probably be out for the year.”

Wilson said it was a non-contact injury suffered last week in practice.

“He just planted running,” Wilson said. “… He was just running, I think it just flattened and it just gave in.”

Freeland, who handled all kicking duties in 2009 and hit 14 of 25 field goals and all 34 of his extra points, was beaten out by sophomore Mitch Ewald for the place kicker spot. However, he was handling kickoff duties and averaged 66.8 yards per kickoff in the opening game against Ball State. Ewald will handle kickoff duties in his absence.

Wilson also said Wednesday that offensive tackle Josh Hager is still awaiting surgery. He is likely out for the season, but the Hoosiers won’t know for sure until after the surgery.

Sophomore tight end Ted Bolser was back in the lineup last week after missing much of preseason with minor injuries. However, Wilson said he’s generally unhappy with the tight end play so far.

“Pretty bad,” Wilson said when asked how the tight ends had graded out. “About half. They ought to be about 70-75 percent of the time getting it right, three out of four, two out of three, we’re about half and half. We’re doing OK, we need to play better. That’s a big part no one realizes. You think if you can’t run, it’s the line. The tight ends are always at the point of attack. If not, they’re back side in a critical cut-off block. Our pick the other night, the guy was coming off a tight end and hit the quarterback or hurried the quarterback. It was a tight end guy. When you see a guy get hit and you say it’s the offensive line, it was a tight end that actually broke down there.”

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson