Brad Rogers has been out since he was taken off a high school practice field when a heart issue appeared during Insight Bowl practices.
The 5-foot-10, 225-pound fullback remains out of practice after failing some cardiac tests. Saturday, Ferentz said things are looking more positive for Rogers, who likely would be the starter at fullback.
“The only good thing I can tell you is we got some tests back a couple weeks ago that had a good outcome, a positive outcome,” Ferentz said. “So, I think we’re getting closer on what they think it is now and I think there’s a chance we’ll get him back in a month or so, but that’s me being optimistic. I hope that’s the case.”
Rogers rushed for 75 yards last season and made one start at fullback, when Brett Morse was held out of the Michigan game.
Wide receiver Marvin McNutt was the most noticeable absence Saturday. He’s still recovering from thumb and shoulder surgery this winter, but should be ready for summer conditioning, the next stage for the Hawkeyes’ season which begins in June.
Ferentz said six to eight Hawkeyes who would likely be in the two deeps sat out Saturday. Linebackers Jim Poggi and Shane DiBona (shoulder surgery) sat out. D-tackles Steve Bigach (upper body) and Tom Nardo (lower right leg) also didn’t dress.
Redshirt freshman tight end Austin Vier (back) and sophomore safety Tanner Miller (shoulder) also sat out.
Sophomore running back Marcus Coker is fine, but wore a red “no contact” jersey and didn’t run the ball during the scrimmage. Ferentz said Coker and former Iowa running back and radio analyst Ed Podolak visited the UI Children’s Hospital last week. Podolak is in Iowa City rehabbing injuries suffered when he was hit by a car this winter in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Ferentz said one player might’ve tweaked a hamstring and suffered a slight heel injury during the scrimmage.
“I think we have six or eight guys who should be in our two deep who aren’t playing,” Ferentz said. “The good news is they all should be ready by June when the next phase begins.”
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