Nebraska’s Dennard may miss opener
Huskers defensive back pulled leg muscle in practice
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard, one of the top returning cornerbacks in the nation, is out indefinitely with a pulled leg muscle.
Coach Bo Pelini disclosed the injury Wednesday and said he didn't know if Dennard would miss the Sept. 3 opener against Tennessee-Chattanooga.
"I don't have a crystal ball. He could. Who knows?" Pelini said. "It's a pulled muscle. Everybody responds a little bit differently. He's doing a lot better than we thought he would be right now."
Dennard tweeted after practice that he has encountered a "lil minor setback" and promised a "major comeback."
Dennard is going into his third season as a starter and is the most experienced member of the Cornhuskers' secondary. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection last season despite being overshadowed by Prince Amukamara, now with the New York Giants.
Dennard, 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, is a senior from Rochelle, Ga. He intercepted four passes and broke up seven other last season, and also returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the Huskers' regular-season win at Washington. He and Amukamara helped lead a secondary that ranked in the top five nationally in pass efficiency defense and passing yards allowed.
Dennard's injury will give more practice repetitions to his top backup, sophomore Andrew Green, who appeared in one game last season. Pelini said Josh Mitchell and Dijon Washington have practiced well.
"This gives us an opportunity with `Fonzo out to really evaluate these young corners," Pelini said. "They're stepping up and getting better. I'm pretty happy with their progress."