Coach Al Golden gave several key players a non-injury day off Saturday, allowing them to act as player-coaches during the morning session of practice.
Veterans Duke Johnson, Denzel Perryman, Anthony Chickillo, Shane McDermott, Ereck Flowers, Malcolm Lewis and freshman Braxton Berrios all were out of uniform.
Golden said he wanted to find out which players would step up with that group missing.
“If somebody goes down in the first quarter against Louisville [Week 1 on Labor Day], I don’t want to see that look that night. I want to see that look this morning,” Golden said. “All the guys that got pressed into action [Saturday] morning and saw that that guy was not going to be playing, that’s the effect of it.”
“We’re looking for that guy to say, ‘I’m ready. I’m prepared. My turn to step up.’ … I wanted to see who would replace the leaders.”
Golden listed Chad Thomas, Dallas Crawford and Clive Walford as players who stepped up Saturday.• Defensive tackle Corey King was in a red jersey (no contact) and wearing a boot on his right foot.
“I don’t think it’s too bad because there was a chance he could go today,” head coach Al Golden said.
Linebacker Raphael Kirby (undisclosed) and cornerback Artie Burns (right foot) were in yellow jerseys (limited) after wearing red on Friday.• Brad Kaaya and Jake Heaps split first-team reps at quarterback.