Injuries strike Irish, threaten weekend play
By BRIAN KESSLER
The Irish will have some injury problems to deal with this week in practice as they prepare for Saturday's game at Purdue.
Quarterback Jarious Jackson injured his toe in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's Michigan game, but didn't notify coaches until after the game. He practiced lightly on Monday despite barely being able to walk on Sunday.
"I'm feeling a lot better now," Jackson said. "I'm able to walk, even though I'm limping. It's not throbbing and the swelling has gone down, so it feels better."
Backup quarterback Arnaz Battle will step in if Jackson can't play Saturday.
"Every week you have to go out there and get ready because you never know what is going to happen," he said. "We run so many options and roll-outs, and there are a lot of teams that blitz. You never know what is going to happen.
"Jarious is a strong guy," Battle continued. "I don't think a toe will keep Jarious out of the game. Right now, I am looking at it like he will not be back but I am pretty sure he is. I am just trying to go out there and prepare myself and the team in a good week of practice."
Junior flanker Joey Getherall separated his right shoulder in the second half of last Saturday's game and isn't expected back until after the Sept. 25 open date.
"I'm disappointed for Joey, because Joey has really worked hard and he is bigger and stronger than he has ever been," Davie said. "Joey is a really good football player and he is a valuable member of this team. [His loss] takes away a chunk of our explosiveness, but he'll bounce back."
With Getherall out, freshman Julius Jones is expected to fill in on special teams returns.
The Irish returned to practice Monday, switching its focus from the Michigan loss to this weekend's showdown.
The Irish reviewed tapes of the Michigan game before taking to the practice field.
"I have tremendous respect for the Purdue football team, but we're much more concerned with the Irish right now than we are with the Boilermakers," head coach Bob Davie said. "I think we all see the potential of this football team, but we have to eliminate our mistakes."
Davie and his staff repeatedly stressed minimizing mistakes.
In Saturday's late-game debacle the Irish were flagged for illegal celebration, a late hit personal foul and they failed to make a first down on the final play of the game.
"Our biggest problem is ourselves right now," offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers said.
Davie, however, was still upbeat about Monday's practice and the team remained positive.
"I like the attitude of our team," Davie said. "Losing is hard, but the most important thing is how you bounce back from that and how you respond to that and I think this team will come back strong.
"[You usually feel good about] Monday practice," Davie added. "You don't practice that long; you don't practice in full pads. So the real test will be tomorrow."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, September 7, 1999