As if things couldn’t get any grimmer on the night of the first Presidential debate, Tom Kakert went and dropped this bomb on us:
Hearing tonight that Matt VandeBerg broke his foot today in practice. Needless to say, not good news for the Hawkeyes. Ferentz update Tues.— Tom Kakert (@HawkeyeReport) September 27, 2016
That’s ... less than ideal.
I trust Kakert’s report, and Marc Morehouse Tweeted some things about it too, so he likely heard some rumblings as well. I got a text from a friend of a friend’s cousin this afternoon about some injury news, so there’s probably some truth to this.
VandeBerg accounted for over 30 percent of Iowa’s offense this year, racking up 19 receptions for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had one rush for 25 yards.
The Brandon, SD, native had become C.J. Beathard’s go-to guy all season long, and was the lone bright spot in a passing game that lacked consistency. After VandeBerg, Iowa’s receivers combine for just 22 catches and 2 touchdowns. Tight end George Kittle is the most prolific receiving option on the team now that VandeBerg is allegedly gone, hauling in 10 catches for 192 yards and 2 scores.
Jerminic Smith will likely take VandeBerg’s spot, but his catching this year has been suspect. There’s Ronald Nash and Jay Scheel on the outside while Riley McCarron holds down the role in the slot, but still. That’s not a group of names we have reason to hold much faith in. Football, as we’re often told, is a next man in game, and that’s just what we’ll have to see if this news does in fact turn out to be true. Kirk Ferentz will address the media tomorrow afternoon, and we’ll have more for you then.