Big Ten notebook: Indiana’s Penix Jr. week-to-week, Gophers’ Potts out for season

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. suffered a separated shoulder Oct. 2, and isn’t expected to start for the Hoosiers Saturday


Ayrton Breckenridge

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. prepares to throw the ball during a football game between No. 18 Iowa and No. 17 Indiana at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 34-6. Penix threw for 156 yards.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

Indiana junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is week-to-week after suffering a shoulder injury against Penn State Oct. 2. 

Penix Jr. went down in the third quarter after separating the AC joint in his left shoulder, and did not return for the remainder of the contest. Backup quarterback Jack Tuttle finished the game for Penix in Indiana’s 24-0 loss.

The Hoosiers had a bye week Oct. 9, but Penix Jr. is still not back at full strength ahead of Indiana’s matchup against Michigan State this Saturday, head coach Tom Allen said. Tuttle will get the start under center.  

“Mike is rehabbing and it’s week-to-week and that hasn’t changed,” Allen told reporters Monday. “That hasn’t changed. Jack, as always, will be ready to go. We’re excited about this week. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Allen would not say if Penix Jr. is practicing or will be available Saturday. 

This is the sixth time in Penix Jr.’s Hoosier career that he’s been injured. The quarterback tore his ACL in his first career start his freshman year  in 2018, forcing him out for the season. Penix Jr. missed two games of the 2019 season with a shoulder strain, got a concussion, and suffered a clavicle injury in Week 9 that again took him out for the season.

In 2020, Penix Jr. started the first six games of the season, but suffered another ACL tear last November.

Penix Jr. started the first five games of the season in 2021, amassing a 3-2 record. The Hoosiers are 0-2 in Big Ten play.

Minnesota’s Trey Potts out for season

Minnesota running back Trey Potts has been ruled out for the season after spending six days in an Indianapolis hospital.

Potts suffered an unspecified injury late in Minnesota’s game against Purdue Oct. 2, and has since spent time in two Indiana hospitals.

While Potts is now out of the hospital and back on the University of Minnesota campus, he is not slated to take the field for the rest of the 2021 season.

Potts’s long-term future as a football player is also a concern.

“It’s too early to tell. I have just been told, ‘Don’t expect him back for the rest of the year,’ ” Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck  said Tuesday. “I think that’s positive for him if football is something that he wants to do with the options that he has, but I think that if [retiring from football] was the only option, that would have been said by now.”

Potts was Minnesota’s top rusher prior to the injury, as he accumulated 552 yards and six touchdowns on 112 carries. The Gophers have now lost their top two running backs in Potts and senior Mo Ibrahim, who tore his Achilles in Minnesota’s season-opener.

Now, the Gophers will turn to true freshman Mar’Keise Irving to fill the void. Irving has registered 112 yards so far this season on 25 carries. The Gophers may also fill the role by committee, with redshirt freshman Ky Thomas,  sophomore Cam Wiley, and junior Bryce Williams in contention for the role.

Minnesota is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Gophers face Nebraska this Saturday.