WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue coach Danny Hope ruled injured receiver Keith Smith out for this week’s game against Ball State.
But that was the extent of the timetable revealed Sunday when Hope spoke to reporters before practice.
Smith, a fifth-year senior, took a helmet to his right knee after making a catch – one that was negated by a penalty – in a 31-21 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday. He had his leg immobilized and was on crutches after the game.
They obviously have some concerns that it may be a serious injury, Hope said Sunday, referencing the team’s trainers. They’ll take him to see an orthopedic surgeon some time in the next couple days. Then they’ll do an MRI and do some tests on it.
But, again, there’s a lot of reasons for concern.
Perhaps a place to turn with Smith out is the senior tight-end duo of Kyle Adams and Jeff Lindsay. They’re sure-handed receivers who can get open in the middle of the field and would give quarterback Robert Marve nice options underneath.
Adams and Lindsay also have experience lining up in the slot in certain formations.
We’re running a lot of routes this year, said Adams, who has combined with Lindsay for seven catches this year. It’s encouraging. It’s great to get the ball. I think we’ve done well when we’ve got the ball. The quarterbacks are looking for us, and they’re finding us.
There are some plays we’re first reads, but Robert is a heck of a player. He’s the only quarterback I’ve ever played with that at any point in the play you can get the ball, so we’ve caught a couple that’s sort of scramble drill.
Offensive coordinator Gary Nord said the tight ends had to help protect the quarterback a more in the first two weeks against 3-4 defenses that blitzed and played man coverage behind it, but he expects Ball State to play more 4-3 and zone defense.
We definitely want to get them involved in our passing game more, Nord said.
They should be a lot bigger factor this week.