The return of fifth-year senior quarterback Ryan Williams is getting closer.
Though Williams tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee in early April, he has been cleared “for the last two weeks to progress as he can,’’ UM coachAl Golden reiterated Monday after practice.
“Ryan is getting ready to go. He had a good day today and we’re getting ready to play Nebraska. … He looked good out there today, took some reps with the ones and twos. That was positive.”
When asked whether Williams could play at Nebraska, Golden said “I don’t know that yet. It’s Monday and no helmets, no pads. We’ll watch the tape and see where he’s at.”
What does Williams have to show the coaches to prove he’s ready to play?
“Just the ability to evade without premeditation — just instinctively,” Golden said, “and protect himself and then obviously go through all the movements.”
For those wondering how Kevin Olsen’s arrest will affect the role of true freshman quarterback Malik Rosier, Golden assured the media it won’t. He said recently that he intends to redshirt Rosier.
“It’s not affecting anything,” Golden said.
True freshman Brad Kaaya, who had a record-setting day Saturday by throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns, is the starter, with graduate transfer Jake Heaps the backup.
Coley might be back
Golden said that receiver Stacy Coley (shoulder) might be be back Saturday night at Nebraska.
Coley, who practiced in a yellow (limited) jersey Monday, was injured during the FAMU game and didn’t play in Saturday’s win over Arkansas State.
“I don’t know if he’s 100 percent,” Golden said of Coley. “He got a great workout before the game. … so that was good. [Sunday] we gave him off and just treated him. Today he ran really well. We’ve got a long way to go before Saturday night and hopefully he’ll climb into the high 90s percentage-wise by then.”
Coley, an All-American last season as a freshman, led the team with 1,461 all-purpose yards and seven receiving touchdowns, and was second in receiving yards, with 591.
In other injury news, Golden said he held out backup guard Alex Gall from practice Monday and that Gall was set to see a doctor later in the day.
Fullback/linebacker Walter Tucker (ankle) practiced “a little bit” Monday, the coach said. “We’re just going to be careful with him over the next 48 hours.” Tucker’s X-rays were negative on Saturday.
Cornerback Ladarius Gunter (shoulder) “is good,” Golden said, and is set to play against the Cornhuskers.
As for kicker Matt Goudis, his status is still in question. Goudis (back) was held out Monday. He didn’t play Saturday.
“It was just one of those deals where Matt was just in a lot of pain,” Golden said. “You can’t foresee that until you’re out there striking it. So I had to make the call then.’”
Finally, receiver Rashawn Scott (shoulder/clavicle) still is recuperating, but is “looking better,” Golden said.