Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase told reporters Tuesday that he expects to play Saturday when the Illini face Charleston Southern. The junior quarterback did not play in the Illini's loss to Arizona State last weekend, due to an ankle injury sustained in Illinois' season opener against Western Michigan.
As Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reported, Scheelhaase is splitting practice reps with backup Riley O'Toole this week, and new head coach Tim Beckman was more cautious than his starting quarterback: "He was doing all right. He's getting back. He's definitely not full speed yet."
Scheelhaase described how he was injured in the third quarter of the Illinois-Western Michigan game:
"As I got up, I was worried about the next step, what I would feel, if it was my foot, Achilles, knee. I didn't know what it was," he said. "Once I took that step, I thought it was a normal sprain. I tried to walk it off like I normally would, like I had countless times before. I couldn't really walk it off. ... I was a little worried at that time and was honestly glad it was only a sprain."
Illinois kicks off against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Memorial Stadium at 11:00 CT. Television coverage will be available on BTN.