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September 22, 2010

Hughes ready to go?

A new sight on the Indiana football practice field yesterday was freshman wide receiver Kofi Hughes playing without the big cast on his hand. The Indianapolis Cathedral grad broke his right thumb early in preseason camp.

"He just had the thing taken off today," said head coach Bill Lynch after practice yesterday.

So could Hughes join running back Antonio Banks as true freshman to play this fall? We asked Lynch if Hughes might play this Saturday night against Akron.

"There's a good chance you're going to see Kofi," Lynch said. "As I stood here last week, I thought you might see him against (Western Kentucky) but just watching him run around today with that cast off, he's a different guy. I think there's a good chance we're going to play him."

He still has some protection, but only during practice play.

"It (the cast) is all off but now he has a splint on it, but when he walked off here he had nothing on," said Lynch.

Hughes was a quarterback at Cathedral but has worked mainly as a slot receiver at Indiana. It's that versatility that could allow him to get the early start on the field.

"He could be anywhere," Lynch said. "It could be special teams for sure. Whether it's as a return guy or covering kicks. He's just a really good athlete. But once we play him, I think we'll play him on the offensive side too. Because when you get into the meat of your schedule and you're playing 75 plays, if you've got a little depth and you could give guys a blow, I think it will help and at this point we feel like he is capable of doing that."

The rest of the week will determine the Hughes answer.

"If he comes back in tomorrow and feels okay, then comes back and feels okay on Thursday and Friday, there's a good chance he will play," said Lynch.

Akron injury report

Here is the first of the two weekly injury reports Indiana will issue for the Akron game.

Chris Adkins - Safety (ankle)

Nick Freeland - Kicker (hip)
Darius Johnson - Defensive End (hamstring)
Tyler Replogle - Linebacker (concussion)

Kevin Bush - Defensive end (neck)
Lenyatta Kiles - Safety (groin)

The Replogle injury could be one to watch since the senior is such a key member of the defense and this is not his first issue with concussions. Lynch confirmed this particular injury came during the Western Kentucky game but he did not know about till Sunday.



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