Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz provides injury updates ahead of Kids Day at Kinnick

The 67-year-old made note of a number of Hawkeye wide receivers that have been working through ailments during summer training camp.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz interacts with the media during Hawkeye Football Media Day at the Iowa Football practice facility in Iowa City on Aug. 12, 2022.

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

Iowa football’s wide receiving corps has been thinned out by injuries during the offseason. Sophomore Keagan Johnson and redshirt freshman Brody Brecht are both working through injuries ahead of the Hawkeyes’ 2022 season-opener.

Johnson and Brecht have missed time with various ailments before. Johnson didn’t play in the 2022 Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 because of a non-COVID-19-related illness. Brecht broke his thumb weeks before the 2021 season began.

“Keagan is working back,” Ferentz said at an Iowa Football Media Day press conference Friday. “He won’t do a lot tomorrow, but he’s working back. I think he’s close to being where he needs to be, and hopefully the same thing with Brody. They’re really the two guys that have missed the most time now. If you look big picture, you’re including spring practice, too.

“The sooner we can get them back, hopefully it’s next week, that’ll be encouraging,” Ferentz added. “In Keagan’s case, he’s played 12 games, 13 games, so he’s got experience there, but you still have to play the game and practice. Brody is a little different story because he hasn’t played. We really liked what we saw when he came back in the fall, but we’ve got to get him going. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later. I think it will be.”

The Hawkeyes will also be without Diante Vines for the first part of the 2022 season. The sophomore wideout sustained a wrist injury that requires a cast to repair.

“Diante Vines injured his wrist,” Ferentz said. “He’ll be in a cast. You’ll see that, and that is going to impact the beginning part of the season for him. That’s unfortunate. He was really practicing well and certainly would have been a guy who could help contribute to our football team.

“It’s not season ending, I don’t think,” Ferentz added. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back here somewhere mid-season, whenever. We’ll just kind of take that day-by-day.”

Vines, Johnson, and Brecht join junior Jackson Ritter on the list of injured Iowa receivers. Ferentz announced Ritter would be out for the season at Big Ten Football Media Days on July 26.

At the same meeting with reporters, Ferentz said offensive lineman Justin Britt is expected to miss the Hawkeyes’ 2022 campaign with an injury.

Redshirst freshman offensive lineman David Davidkov has also lost some reps this offseason with a medical issue. Though Ferentz did not reveal the nature of Davidkov’s ailment on Friday, he did say he’s hopeful the 6-foot-6, 309-pounder can return to the field soon.

“He’ll be out here today, tomorrow,” Ferentz said. “Going through a medical issue, too, like several of our guys. So, hopefully we can get him back. But no, he hasn’t gotten any work this camp.”

Ferentz’s team has three weeks to get healthy, as the Hawkeyes will play a season-opening game against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Sept. 3 at Kinnick Stadium.

“We’re still halfway through (camp),” Ferentz said. “We’re still a long way from having the guys come out of the tunnel in front of 70,000 people and swarming out there. That’s a little different experience, too. So we’ll see where that goes.

“I know there’s a lot of excitement with our fan base, and I’m really pleased about that … We feel the same thing, but we also realize there’s still a lot of work to do before we’re even close to being ready to play.”

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