LINCOLN — After not playing in the Huskers’ last five football games, Nebraska I-back Tre Bryant is now headed for knee surgery.
NU head coach Mike Riley said during his weekly press conference Monday that the sophomore would have the procedure done Tuesday, ending any likelihood of Bryant returning this season.
“He has just been a warrior trying to get back,” Riley said. “But as we look at it for his long-term future with us, the best thing for him … is to go ahead and get it done now.”
Riley indicated the team plans to pursue a medical redshirt for Bryant, meaning he could regain a season of eligibility.
Bryant ran for 299 yards (5.9 per carry) and two touchdowns in the Huskers’ first two games, getting the majority of work at I-back after winning the starting job in fall camp. He aggravated an existing knee injury during the Oregon game, however, and has been out since.
The work going forward will continue to be split by juniors Devine Ozigbo (351 yards) and Mikale Wilbon (254), with freshman Jaylin Bradley remaining ready to help if needed.
Riley said he wasn’t sure what the status would be this week for linebackers Luke Gifford and Dedrick Young, who are both dealing with injuries.
The bye week did help with getting receiver JD Spielman healthy, Riley said, as well as safeties Antonio Reed, Aaron Williams and Joshua Kalu.
Nebraska QB Tanner Lee draws high praise from Purdue coach Jeff Brohm
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has been impressed enough with Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee that he compared the junior transfer to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner during his Monday press conference.
“As far as quarterbacks, other than Lamar Jackson, this is probably the best quarterback we’ll play,” Brohm said, referring to the Louisville QB who produced 485 yards of offense to help beat the Boilermakers 35-28 on Sept. 2. “He can really throw the football and he can see the field. It’ll present more problems for our secondary.
Lee has completed 55 percent of his passes (132 of 240) this season to go with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In his last three games, the junior transfer has hit at a clip of 59.6 percent (56 of 94) and is averaging 270 passing yards per game along with a 6-1 TD-to-INT ratio.
Brohm also said Saturday night’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff is equally important for a pair of 3-4 programs trying to inch closer to bowl eligibility. Purdue opened the week as a 6.5-point favorite.
It’ll be a tough football game against a team that needs to win as bad as we do,” Brohm said. “There’s going to be a lot riding on this game.”
Nebraska at Purdue
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana
Radio: 103.1 FM