DeKALB – Northern Illinois football could get a nice boost on the defensive line Saturday.
Anthony Wells, who's been out while recovering from a broken foot, has practiced the past two days, and NIU coach Rod Carey said Wells has looked good, and expects him to play against Purdue.
"We'll see how he feels after today and kind of go from there," Carey said. "One day at a time."
Wells, who started four games at defensive tackle last season, had four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2012. He would provide a nice boost to NIU's defensive line.
Other NIU notes from Wednesday:
• Quarterback Jordan Lynch was limited in practice for the second day in a row. He was on the field with a helmet but no shoulder pads.
Lynch left Saturday's win over Eastern Illinois for a couple of plays. Carey said he's dealing with normal bumps and bruises, and has said that his quarterback is fine.
"He's got bumps and bruises like everybody. Just trying to manage everybody. It's getting to that time of the year where it's kind of really that first big round of in-season bumps and bruises, and you have to manage everybody," Carey said. "Some guys need to push through it, some guys need to pull back. Jordan we assessed was in more of that peel back mode."
• Cornerback and Sycamore native Marckie Hayes is now working with the team as a student coach. Hayes, however, suffered a concussion in fall camp. Carey said he has a history of them, and that his playing career is over.
Carey said Hayes is focusing on finishing up his degree, and that he's a bright person who will have a lot of options.
For now, he's been working with the team's defensive backs.
"He's out here, he's real valuable to us. Everyone on this team respects him along with the coaching staff," Carey said. "We're getting a lot out of it and I think he's getting a lot out of it too."
– Steve Nitz, email@example.com, @SNitz_DDC