Rutgers coach Greg Schiano poured cold water over any speculation about a quarterback controversy by declaring Noah Vedral is “going to be back behind center’’ once he’s healthy.
But that doesn’t mean it will be for Saturday’s clash with Penn State.
Vedral’s status remains unclear as the Scarlet Knights begin their week of preparation against the Nittany Lions.
Schiano said Vedral “is progressing’’ from an unspecified injury but he didn’t offer a timetable on when he expects his quarterback to be medically cleared to play.
Rutgers is off from practice Monday and begins installing its game-plan Tuesday for its Big Ten East Division showdown with Penn State.
“We’re going to handle the quarterback reps however it best sets up for us to have a chance to win the game,’’ Schiano said. “A lot of times when you have guys coming off injuries you have to see how they do. So you have to have your plan and then you have to have your contingency. We’re just kind of roll with it and see how it plays out this week, and then make a decision as we did last week depending on how everybody is (health-wise).’’
Vedral traveled to Purdue and participated in pregame drills, but FS1 cameras showed him grimacing while throwing. Schiano said the injury occurred in the previous game against Michigan and the team spent last week “trying to figure out’’ whether Vedral could play. The coaching staff decided to start Art Sitkowski out of a concern that Vedral couldn’t perform “at a competitive level,’’ Schiano said.
If Vedral can’t go against Penn State, Sitkowski will make his second career start and Johnny Langan will likely see his gun-run package expand after the pair sparked the Scarlet Knights to a 37-30 upset of Purdue.
After enjoying a career-best performance that included 381 yards passing and three touchdowns against Michigan, Vedral participated in warmup-drills Saturday at Purdue before being declared a no-go as Schiano opted to start Sitkowski in a game-time decision.
Vedral ranks among the Big Ten leaders in completion percentage (64.2, 4th), passing yardage per game (220.8, 4th) and touchdown passes (8, T-4). The Nebraska transfer had four straight games with at least 20 completions before missing the Purdue game.
Sitkowski was solid in his absence, throwing for 152 yards and connecting on a pair of 14-yard touchdown passes with Shameen Jones. Langan was a difference maker in his gun-run quarterback role, throwing for 84 yards and rushing for 95 yards as the Scarlet Knights notched their second Big Ten win.
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