Iowa football tight end Sam LaPorta, fullback Monte Pottebaum not listed on Week 13 depth chart

LaPorta and Pottebaum were both injured in Iowa’s game against Minnesota at Huntington Bank Stadium last Saturday.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta runs after a reception during a football game between Iowa and Minnesota at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. LaPorta caught four passes for 95 yards, but did not finish the game because of injury. The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers, 13-10.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Senior tight end Sam LaPorta and fullback Monte Pottebaum were not listed on Iowa football’s Week 13 depth chart released Monday afternoon. Both suffered injuries in Iowa’s game against Minnesota last Saturday at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

LaPorta caught four passes for 95 yards, including a career-long 58-yard reception, in the first quarter. The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder exited the game limping and went into the medical tent near the end of the first quarter. He later went back to the locker room and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

LaPorta returned to the sidelines and was walking unassisted in street clothes in the second half of the game.

“He was always there hanging a coat on someone and trying to tell someone what to do, espectially teaching [third-string tight end Addison Ostrenga] a lot and just helping him out,” sophomore tight end Luke Lachey said Tuesday.

Lachey and Ostrenga, a true freshman,  filled in for LaPorta on Saturday. Lachey, who is Iowa’s third-leading receiver with 273 yards this season, is listed as the Hawkeyes’ first-team tight end this week, while Ostrenga is his backup.

Ostrenga has played in each of the Hawkeyes’ 11 games this season — primarily on special teams. He has one catch for six yards on offense.

“Addison did a great job when his number was called,” Lachey said. “I’m really proud of him. He’ll just continue to get better and get more confident in his ability.”

Pottebaum also left the game with an undisclosed injury in the first quarter and did not return. He didn’t record any statistics on Saturday.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz did not specify LaPorta or Pottebaum’s injuries during his weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon, but he confirmed neither of them will play against Nebraska on Friday.

“Changes things,” Ferentz said. “Sam is Sam, arguably our best guy on offense. Then, Monte can do so many things, play in different positions, help us. It kind of limits what we have to do. We have to be smart about it. The good news is Luke Lachey has improved week over week the last couple years, has done a good job. Ostrenga did a good job jumping in there. We’ll have to play him more. We have to find a way to get it done.”

LaPorta has been Iowa’s leading receiver through the first 11 games of the season, recording 54.6 yards per game and 601 total. Iowa’s second-leading receiver is wideout Nico Ragaini, who has 305 yards.

“It changes things for everyone, not just me,” Lachey said of LaPorta’s absence. “I think everyone, like Saturday, is going to have to step up and do some more things.”

Pottebaum has three catches for 37 yards so far this season, primarily using his talents as an additional blocker. Senior Turner Pallissard and redshirt freshman Eli Miller are listed as first and second-team fullbacks, respectively, on Iowa’s Week 13 two-deep.

LaPorta and Pottebaum are two of 27 seniors that will be honored during Friday’s Iowa-Nebraska game. While they will be recognized as seniors playing their last game at Kinnick Stadium, both have the option to return in 2023 for another season.

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Beau Stephens was also missing from the depth chart on Monday afternoon. The 6-foot-6, 307-pounder suffered an injury against Wisconsin on Nov. 12. Ferentz said on Nov. 15 that the Hawkeyes would be prepared to play without him, and he did not appear in Iowa’s game against Minnesota on Saturday. Junior Nick DeJong took over Stephens’ spot at right guard.

Ferentz said Stephens will be available on Friday against Nebraska, but he won’t start. DeJong will start in Stephens’ place.

“I think it will be the same,” Ferentz said. “It will be good to get him back for depth purposes. If he was a fifth-year guy, maybe he’d be right back in there. He’s so young, still learning so much on the job. The good news is we were really thin last Saturday. At least we get somebody back who we can put in the game.”

Van Ness to return for junior season

Sophomore defensive end Lukas Van Ness is planning to return to Iowa for his junior season, he said Tuesday afternoon.

“I love this program, I love it here, and I have no interest in leaving,” Van Ness said Tuesday.

Despite his listing as a second-string on the Hawkeye defensive line, Van Ness is tied for the team lead with six sacks in the 2022 season.

Van Ness is projected as a first or second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, should he declare. But the 6-foot-5, 275-pound sophomore doesn’t have any intentions to leave the Hawkeyes just yet.

“That’s been mentioned to me, but that’s not something that I’m focused on right now,” Van Ness said of declaring for the NFL Draft. “I’ve always just been focused on the season, and we’ve got Nebraska this week. I believe playing at the next level is a result of playing well in-season and in these games. I think if I continue to do my job, play hard, and play fast, I’ll give myself an opportunity at the next level.”