With backup defensive tackle Nick Mondek out with a lower leg injury, Purdue could tweak its defense against Michigan State Saturday.
After Mondek was injured in the first half against Michigan last week, Adam Brockman got some more reps in the rotation at defensive tackle. Redshirt freshman LaSalle Cooks is on the two-deep this week. Like most of the redshirt lineman, Cooks has been practicing some with the scout team defense and offense, as well as getting some reps with the "varsity" line.
Coach Danny Hope said he'd have to make a decision on whether to continue to play Cooks or take a redshirt off one of the freshmen.
Another option against Michigan State's offense, which is ranked No. 18 in the nation in passing, is to simply move around players already ready to go.
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who leads the Big Ten with 11 sacks, could be one player who bounces inside to tackle for a couple snaps.
Kerrigan has done that before, usually on third downs in an effort to get an extra pass-rusher on the field.
"We have the availability to do some things from a personnel standpoint, maybe go from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and lots of different fronts that we can use, and we have a lot of pressures that we can use that we haven't used as much of our of different groupings of personnel," Hope said. "A guy like Ryan is a special player, and I would like to be able to move him around some more anyway. So this might provide some opportunity just like you do a great receiver at times when you get the ball to him, move around and maybe he can help manufacture some plays. I am not opposed to some of the ideas that we have had."