Illini QB Scheelhaase practices on injured ankle

SHARE Illini QB Scheelhaase practices on injured ankle

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Nathan

Scheelhaase practiced Sunday night, but Illini coach Tim Beckman said Monday he

wants to see more before making a decision on the third-year starter’s status

for Illinois’ trip to Arizona State Saturday night (9:30 p.m., ESPN).

After

leading Illinois to its only two offensive touchdowns in Saturday’s 24-7

victory over Western Michigan, Scheelhaase left the game in the third quarter

with an apparent left-ankle sprain.

The

fact that he practiced a day later appears to be a good sign for Scheelhaase,

who threw a 64-yard touchdown pass and had a four-yard TD run against the

Broncos.

Scheelhaase

“was moving around, but

definitely not 100 percent,” Beckman said. “We’re going

to have to continue to evaluate throughout the week. You know Nathan is very

committed to everything that he does, so I know he will give it everything he’s

got to make sure that he’s healthy. We’ll have to make those decisions as the

week goes on.”

The

coaching staff, training staff and Scheelhaase all will be involved in the

decision.

“I want him

healthy,” Beckman said. “Does he have to be 100 percent? He has to be healthy

enough for him to be successful in what we’re asking him to do.”

Scheelhaase’s

backups are strong-armed sophomore Reilly O’Toole, who lacks Scheelhaase’s

mobility, and athletic junior Miles Osei, who’s expected to be on the field in

a variety of roles this fall. Osei had an impressive fall camp, but is the

least experienced quarterback option.

“Reilly’s very

capable of doing what we need to do to be successful,” Beckman said, adding

that the versatile Osei will get more touches this week. “Miles Osei needs to

be in the game more than he was. Whether at quarterback, wide receiver or

running back, he needs to be on the field. So he will be.”

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