Well, not so fast. Remember when K.C. Keeler said it is very unlikely quarterback Trent Hurley would return from his lisfranc injury to play again in 2012? That may not necessarily be true anymore.
Keeler said at his press conference on Monday that Hurley told the doctors that he is feeling much better than he did over the weekend, and was even able to walk on his toes, something his foot injury had prevented him from doing just 24 hours earlier.
“I thought after that Rhode Island game we wouldn’t be talking about Trent again in terms of this season because it’s a significant injury,” Keeler said. “He’s walking on his toes and feeling a lot better. There’s some things that they’ve been doing with him in terms of some rehab stuff that really don’t even involve the mid-foot but are really revolves around the mid-foot to help get some more flexibility there and to help him push off better.”
The Hens go into their week of preparation for Old Dominion unsure of who will get the start at the most important position on the field, which is not exactly ideal. That is why Keeler gave the indication he would evaluate Hurley today and try to have a decision made then, and definitely would know by Thursday.
“We’ll just evaluate it and we’ll walk off the field Thursday sure of which direction we’re going to go,” the head coach said. “But I think we’ll know a lot tomorrow in terms of how he’s running around. We’ll get a pretty good indication from his mobility tomorrow.”
Now, just because Keeler and his staff make a decision, does not mean the rest of the world will find out what it is. It would not surprise me in the least if the Hens head coach decides to keep the identity of his starting signal caller for Saturday’s trip to ODU a secret as long as possible.
It is a trick Keeler has used before. Going into the season openers against Maryland in 2008 and Navy in 2011, Keeler had decided who his first string field general was, but chose not to tell the public. In fact, going into last season, he had not even let the quarterbacks’ teammates know whether it would be Tim Donnelly or Trevor Sasek getting the start until the offense went onto the field for its first snap.
In other words, Keeler is not above gamesmanship. He is also not adverse to going with Donnelly if Hurley is less than 100 percent, which is a change from how the coach felt as recently as a couple weeks ago.
Keeler knew Hurley was at less than full strength going into the New Hampshire and Maine games, but he felt the sophomore still gave his team its best chance at a victory. After watching Donnelly perform against URI, he does not seem as sure of that anymore.
“If (Trent) can’t run around, then we’re not going to, and it doesn’t make sense to, play him,” Keeler said. “Timmy did a nice job and we think we can use a combination of Timmy and Trevor (Sasek) again.”
“To compliment Trent, we put him out there at a disservice to him at New Hampshire and Maine because we collectively felt this is a kid who can really do some special things. But unfortunately without that mobility, those special things were limited in those two games. So we just can’t be fooled again in terms of putting him out there if he’s not closer to 100 percent.”
Nevertheless, Keeler would still clearly love Hurley to be able to go.
“He makes us different,” Keeler said about Hurley. “He just can do different things. He extends plays and we just really felt that’s what we need with this young offensive line.
We shall see what Keeler and the Hens decide, when they decide it and when that choice becomes public. The only good news is, Old Dominion has to wait and see as well.