Wednesday practice notes

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Northern Illinois senior wide receiver Perez Ashford suffered a sprained ankle during NIU's Week 5 win against Central Michigan, and missed Saturday's 35-23 win at Ball State. Doeren said Ashford is feeling better, but said he won't play against Buffalo.

"He's doing good," Doeren said. "He's getting better."

Redshirt freshman Angelo Sebastiano took Ashford's place as the team's punt returner Saturday.

• Sophomore safety Dechane Durante left in the second half of Saturday's win with an injury, and Doeren wouldn't comment on his situation. Demetrius Stone, who had been starting at cornerback, took Durante's place against Ball State, and was taking first-team reps during Wednesday's practice.

True freshman Marlon Moore took Stone's place at corner in NIU's Week 6 win, and was in the same spot Wednesday.

• True freshman running back Keith Harris Jr. had five carries for 46 yards against Ball State. His Week 6 total came just one week after running the ball six times for 66 yards and a touchdown in a Week 5 win over Central Michigan.

Harris came on late in camp, so he didn't get a ton of reps. He's gotten more involved, and Doeren said he's pleased with Harris' progress.

"It was kind of a late find on our part in camp," Doeren said. "We've kind of felt like by this time of the season, he would be splitting reps. That's kind of where we're at now."

— Steve Nitz,, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter


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Will NIU football win the MAC this season?