Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 9/6/12
By DAVID MERCER Associated Press CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois coach Tim Beckman said earlier this week he has a hard time imagining his injured starting quarterback playing much at Arizona State this weekend if he couldn't practice. On Wednesday, Nathan Scheelhaase cleared that hurdle. Beckman said he hasn't decided yet if or how much Scheelhaase can play -- and almost certainly won't announce his decision when he makes it -- the coach said the junior quarterback's left ankle was much improved Wednesday. "He's much better than he was yesterday," Beckman said. "He said he felt pretty good. I think any time you have an injury to the ankle, it's going to progress -- and it's been progressing and we'll have to make that decision on Thursday after practice." Beckman said backups Reilly O'Toole and Mile Osei shared snaps in practice this week. He said neither has an edge if Scheelhaase can't play. "I thought Reilly and Miles probably are neck and neck right now," Beckman said. "And we'll see how Nathan progresses. Of course, Nathan hasn't had that number of reps." None of the quarterbacks was available after practice Wednesday. The Illini (1-0) play both O'Toole and Osei as part of their game plan. Osei, a junior, can also play at receiver or as a back in Beckman's offense. O'Toole came on at quarterback when Scheelhaase left last Saturday's 24-7 win over Western Michigan in the third quarter. He sat on the sideline icing the ankle before eventually having to be carted to the locker room. But the offense stalled with O'Toole, a sophomore who played in 10 games last season, at the controls. O'Toole was 2-of-3 passing for seven yards and guided Illinois to just one first down in more than a quarter of play. Up 17-0 at the time, Illinois weathered a Broncos comeback thanks largely to a defensive touchdown. "I really think that we controlled the ball well, and then when Nate went down we hit kind of a slump, there's no question about it, Beckman said. He doesn't want to have to count on his defense to win the game alone again this week at Arizona State (1-0). "We've got to know that, regardless of whoever's taking the snaps, that we've got to be able to respond," he said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker