Less than an hour before the Hawkeyes kick off in Evanston against Northwestern, Iowa fans have been dealt two serious blows of bad news. First it was safety Brandon Snyder, who made his return from a torn ACL just two weeks ago against Illinois and came up huge with a pick-6. The return was short-lived as we learned this morning he has sustained another knee injury that may keep him out a couple weeks.
Brandon Snyder is not on the field warming up. Heard knee sprain, might be out a few weeks. Frosh safety Noah Clayberg made the trip.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) October 21, 2017
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Hawkeyes were hit with more devastating news just a few minutes later. Mid-season All-American linebacker Josey Jewell has also been ruled out due to the shoulder injury he sustained against Illinois.
You’ll recall Jewell departed that game and was replaced by junior Jack Hockaday. Jewell was able to return later in the game, but is apparently unable to go today due to the contact he would sustain. With Jewell out, it won’t be Hockaday stepping in. Instead, Ben Niemann will slide inside to the middle linebacker spot and senior Kevin Ward will replace Niemann at outside linebacker.
Dolph says the contact is what will keep Jewell out today. Niemann to MLB. Kevin Ward will be the OLB.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) October 21, 2017
Jake Gervase, who had been a starter at safety during Snyder’s absence will replace him today in the secondary. It remains to be seen how time will be split back there as Gervase had also lost his job to Amani Hooker, who was listed as an OR at the other safety spot with Miles Taylor this week.
Josey Jewell and Brandon Snyder not playing today. Niemann to middle, Gervase at safety.— Gary Dolphin (@GaryDolphin) October 21, 2017
Regardless of how the minutes shake out, the Hawkeyes will need some new faces to step up in a big way to come away with a win in Evanston today. Not the way any of us wanted to start our days. Ugh.