Nebraska football wide receiver Marcus Washington is out for the rest of the year. News broke Tuesday that Washington will undergo season-ending ACL surgery.
For an already depleted receiving corps, such news hurts Nebraska’s offense. Against Illinois, Washington had an impressive catch in the first quarter of 39 yards.
The remaining receivers must step up. At receiver, Billy Kemp remains a favorite for quarterback Heinrich Haarberg. Against the Fighting Illini, both Alex Bullock and Malachi Coleman caught passes. Bullock had two catches for 16 yards.
Coleman has potential, and Husker fans may see more of the large target. Listed at 6’4-190lbs, Coleman is a true freshman and a highly recruited wideout from Lincoln. His hometown fans would love to see him succeed. He will have his opportunity to garner the fanbase’s attention, playing a role in replacing Washington.
Thomas Fidone and other tight ends give Nebraska football a chance to succeed, even without Washington.
The Huskers keep fighting in a season where several severe injuries have affected them. Coach Matt Rhule is showcasing his intense, competitive approach, which is resonating with the players.
Though losing another offensive player hurts, it should not change the game plan. Nebraska must continue pounding the football in the running game, with Anthony Grant and Haarberg playing solid roles.
Nebraska football will need the next man up
Haarberg is learning the offense more as each game passes and becoming accustomed to Power 5 conference play. Despite making mistakes against Illinois and the offense’s failure to score a touchdown in the second half, Haarberg stayed composed and learned from his errors.
The bye week helps Nebraska and Haarberg prepare for Northwestern, who has struggled this season. If Nebraska fans were pleased with the performance against their Illinois opponent, it should encourage them for their upcoming match against the Wildcats, who currently hold a 3-3 record.
The injuries hurt, but Nebraska football is scoring, and the defense has kept them in most of the games.