Starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong won't suit up for Nebraska on Saturday as it tries to avoid its sixth loss of the season when it visits Purdue.
Head coach Mike Riley announced Thursday that the team's junior signal-caller — the second-leading passer in the Big Ten — is a part of the lengthy list of those who will sit out of Saturday's game with an injury.
Armstrong wore a walking boot this week, and according to Riley, things have gotten worse.
"Not really close," Riley told reporters after practice Thursday. "As a matter of fact, it sounds like between yesterday and today it took a little turn for the worse. I don't think that means long term, necessarily. It's like a turf-toe deal that just hasn't gotten better, and we just can't risk him making it worse."
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Junior Ryker Fyfe will start in Armstrong's place, getting his first collegiate start.
"I like Ryker, he's going to do fine," Riley said. "He has prepared well from the very start of camp, and I'm excited for him.
"Ryker is not held back by not knowing, it's just experience in playing. He's run all these plays. He's been the sole guy this week to take the first-string reps and get to execute in practice against the simulation of Purdue's defense. So the knowledge about everything of what we're doing, the pulling out of what we're going to actually use in the game, he's familiar with. We're all very comfortable with that. I was impressed with how our team started from Monday with just taking snaps with Ryker in there. I'm excited for him, and I think he'll do very well."
Fyfe is a Nebraska native and has appeared in eight games in his career. He's completed five of the 11 passes he's thrown for 45 yards and a touchdown and rushed eight times for 50 yards.
Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.
Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football.
"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.
"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.
"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline."
Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."
"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.
"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."
Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.
Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.
As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.
Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.
The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.