Nebraska Cornhuskers: Injured players returning to face Spartans


After Thursday’s practice, head coach Mike Riley released the updated injury report for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The (3-6) Huskers will be facing the (8-0) Michigan State Spartans Saturday night.

Tommy Armstrong will be returning for the Huskers after missing last week’s game due to injury. Armstrong showed a lot of improvement this week, and most of his mobility is back. His foot injury had to be a concern with the Spartans coming to town. Defensively, they have 24 sacks, and it wouldn’t a great look if Armstrong was limited with his legs.

A big key to the Huskers’ offensive line is returning too. Nick Gates is returning to the starting lineup, after missing a couple of games. The offensive tackle will have his hands full, but he gives the Huskers the best chance to contain the Spartans’ defensive line. According to, Zach Sterup will move to right guard this week.

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Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that De’Mornay Pierson-El was out for the season. However, there were doubts about WR Brandon Reilly‘s ability to play this weekend. During the week, Reilly was protecting a toe injury, but Riley is encouraged by his improvement. Hopefully, Reilly can perform at a high level on Saturday. If he’s unable to play, the passing game will take a huge hit. As the Huskers’ best deep threat, the offense will have to find a way to sustain long drives. The Huskers should have Alonzo Moore back in the fold. Last year, Moore was inches away from making the game winning catch over the Spartans.

I-back Terrell Newby is still questionable, so it’s looking like the Huskers running game will be left in the hands of the backups. Interestingly enough, the bigger backs may have more success against Michigan State’s run defense.

Tommy Armstrong

Defensively, the Huskers will be getting quite a few players back on the field. Linebacker Chris Weber should return, and he can give the Huskers a lot of tenacity in the middle of the defense.

In addition to Weber, linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey could return from long-standing groin injury. So far, it’s been a wasted season for Rose-Ivey, but if he can make a difference over the next three games, the missed time will be somewhat forgotten.

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams will also get back into the lineup. According to Riley, Rose-Ivey and Williams will be in the game for around 20 snaps. If so, these players will greatly improve their depth towards the end of the game.

The defensive backfield will be as healthy this week as they have been over the last month. When the Huskers are in base defense, Joshua Kalu and Chris Jones will be the starters at corner. They plan to use Jonathan Rose as the nickel back. Daniel Davie will also be a factor in the game despite having a cast on his hand.

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Last week, there was a reason why Jordan Stevenson didn’t return kicks for the Huskers. He was sick. Stanley Morgan did a better job than Stevenson, and will resume his role as the main kick returner. Hopefully, the Huskers don’t have too many return opportunities on Saturday.