Whether Michigan State will have its starter under center as it looks to bounce back from a tough Week 8 loss remains decidedly uncertain.
Brian Lewerke sustained an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder in the Oct. 13 win over Penn State but attempted to gut it out in the following weekend’s loss to Michigan. An ineffective Lewerke, who didn’t practice in the week leading up to the rivalry game, was ultimately replaced in the fourth quarter by redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi.
With Purdue, fresh off an upset of Ohio State, on tap for this Saturday afternoon, Mark Dantonio indicated that Lewerke still hasn’t returned to practice.
“First of all, Rocky gets all the reps,” the head coach said. “[Lombardi] got all the reps last week as well as [true freshman] Theo Day. Brian’s got to be able to practice. That’s obviously noticeable from last week’s performance.”
Following Tuesday’s practice, Lewerke was reticent to even remotely address his health situation. From mlive.com:
Is he feeling better than he felt last week, when he was unable to throw during practice leading up to the Michigan game?
“I don’t really want to talk about the arm right now,” Lewerke said.
How did Tuesday’s practice go?
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Lewerke said.
Did he practice with the first-team offense?
‘I don’t want to talk about that either,” Lewerke said.
A redshirt junior, Lewerke has started 20 straight games dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season. He also started two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016.
In the loss to U-M, Lewerke completed five-of-25 passes (20 percent) for 66 yards and no touchdowns. It was Lewerke’s second straight rough outing as he completed less than 50 percent of his passes in the win over Penn State.
Lewerke’s 116.5 pass efficiency rating is 10th among Big Ten quarterbacks and 100th nationally.