Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said sophomore running back Me'co Brown (injured left thumb) should be ready to play in Saturday's home-opener against Western Illinois.
"He's got a thumb [injury] and it's not broken," Kill said after Wednesday's practice. "They did an MRI but I guess he's out here practicing so I guess he's alright. I haven't talked with [trainer] Kammy [Powell]. It's just whether he can hold on to a ball or not. We won't know that until we get to Saturday or what we do during practice.
"But he's practiced every day since [the injury]. He's caught punts and all those kinds of things. I anticipate him being ready to play unless I'm told differently."
Kill said Brown, who injured the thumb during this past Saturday's 28-20 loss at Wisconsin, will not be able to play on Saturday with the cast he has on it right now.
"They'll have to find a way to wrap it and we'll see what they can do," Kill said.
Brown rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries on Saturday against Wisconsin before leaving with the injury. His final run came on a three-yard carry where he was stripped of the ball by Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor in the second quarter.