LINCOLN — Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez and receiver JD Spielman will be evaluated throughout the week before NU coach Scott Frost assesses whether either will play against Minnesota.
Both players "will be all right" after suffering minor injuries in the 13-10 win over Northwestern. Martinez's backups, Frost said, are sophomore Noah Vedral and freshman Luke McCaffrey.
"We're going to wait and see where Adrian is at the end of the week," Frost said. "If Adrian's healthy, he'll go. ... He needs to practice a little, but he's had plenty of reps."
Vedral exclusively took snaps with the top offense on Monday. He said he's ready to take over for Martinez if called upon. Vedral said his strengths are decision-making and "operating within the realm of chaos."
"If Adrian's ready, that's great," Vedral said. "But for myself and the rest of the quarterbacks, we'll be ready."
Right tackle Matt Farniok also praised McCaffrey's intellect and willingness to play.
"He's excited, but he's also calm," Farniok said.
Said Frost: "Luke's a special athlete, he's a special player. We definitely want to save his year."
Spielman left Saturday's 13-10 win over Northwestern after a hard hit in the second quarter. He didn't play after halftime. Martinez left at the end of the third quarter after a Northwestern defender pulled him to the ground by his legs. Spielman walked off the field after the game under his own power while Martinez needed the help of a Husker staff member and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander after the game ended.
After the Northwestern game, Frost said the injuries were "not too serious" but otherwise offered no timetable on either player's return. Aside from announcing season-ending injuries or major surgeries — such as safety Deontai Williams' earlier this season — Frost is typically circumspect talking about injuries.
Senior Mike Williams was Spielman's primary replacement at receiver, a position that has struggled with injuries and execution this season. Another receiver who started in 2018, Kade Warner, has missed almost all of the 2019 season with an undisclosed lower body injury. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, Warner re-aggravated the injury, and receivers coach/offensive coordinator Troy Walters said Warner wouldn't play again until he was 100%.
Both Spielman and Martinez missed games in 2018 due to various injuries. Martinez missed a 24-19 loss to Troy while Spielman missed a 9-6 win over Michigan State and a 31-28 loss at Iowa.