Saxon's Availability Still in Doubt

Bloomington – Bill Lynch knows his defense will be short-handed when it takes on Northwestern Saturday at Noon at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. But the third-year IU coach is hopeful he'll have a full complement of players on offense.

Bloomington – Bill Lynch knows his defense will be short-handed when it takes on Northwestern Saturday at Noon at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. But the third-year IU coach is hopeful he'll have a full complement of players on offense.

The one possible exception is senior right guard Pete Saxon, who is listed as questionable on Indiana's final pre-game injury report. Saxon is nursing an ankle injury that sent him to the sidelines in the Hoosiers' 47-7 loss to Virginia two weeks ago. Saxon was replaced in the starting lineup by senior Mike Reiter last weekend against Illinois.

Reiter was listed as the No. 1 right guard on this week's IU depth chart, followed by Saxon as the No. 2. But there's little doubt that if Saxon is cleared to play he'll be in the starting line-up against the Wildcats.

As expected, Indiana will be without four key players on the defensive side. Linebacker Will Patterson (hand) and cornerback Donnell Jones (elbow) have been ruled out after suffering injuries against Illinois. Indiana is also still without a couple of key reserves – safety Chris Adkins (elbow) and defensive end Darius Johnson (shoulder). Adkins was injured in practice a week and a half ago, while Johnson has been sidelined since the start of Big Ten play.

The Hoosiers are expected to welcome back back-up middle linebacker Leon Beckum from an ankle injury, and running back Darius Willis is also listed as probable with an ankle injury.

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