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Pelini not dwelling on injured players

August 21, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has lost possibly three players for the season to injuries and a bunch of others are ailing, but you won't hear coach Bo Pelini complaining.

"There's no magical thing to injuries. It's a tough sport. Things happen, and there's nothing you can do about it," Pelini said after Wednesday's practice. "Look across the country, we're not the only ones that have some guys hurt."

Nickel back Charles Jackson and linebacker Michael Rose are out with season-ending knee injuries and running back Adam Taylor broke his ankle and probably won't make it back this season.

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who has had two major knee surgeries, went down Monday. Pelini said Williams was day to day with an ankle injury. Williams' injury initially appeared to be more serious, judging from the way he was screaming.

"I think it just scared him more than anything," Pelini said. "When you've been through what he's been through, I could see why it would."

No. 1 right offensive tackle Zach Sterup and long snapper Gabe Miller are among other players who are hurt.

Pelini also has lost projected starting safety LeRoy Alexander to suspension, and defensive tackle Aaron Curry quit.

"He didn't like the fact he was the fifth tackle, and there you go," Pelini said of Curry.

To address the depth issue, freshman D.J. Foster moved from offensive guard to defensive tackle. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Foster, from Lincoln, was regarded as the top prospect in the state coming out of high school.

"I talked to D.J., and he was all for it, so we put him in there yesterday and he looked really good," Pelini said. "He did a really good job. Long term, he's going to be an offensive lineman unless he chooses not to be. In the short term he can help us on the defensive side of the football, especially with what he's shown me the first two days."

Starting defensive tackle Vincent Valentine said he and his teammates haven't missed a beat with players coming and going.

"We're just moving on," he said. "We know with or without the guys who aren't there we still have a job to do. We're getting it done."

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