At least for the next couple of weeks, Purdue’s receiving corps will be at less than full strength.
In the loss to Michigan State last Saturday, B.J. Knauf suffered what would eventually be diagnosed as a broken clavicle. He underwent surgery Thursday morning to repair the damage.
As a result, head coach Darrell Hazell, Knauf will be sidelined for 3-4 weeks. Such a timeline means Knauf will definitely miss games against Minnesota this Saturday and Nebraska the first weekend in November — the 3-4 Boilermakers have a bye in between — and could miss the Wisconsin game Nov. 8 as well.
Knauf is currently fourth on the team in receptions with 15. He would have, though, been coming off a season- and career-high in receptions with seven in the loss to the Spartans.
His previous high was four in two different games (opener vs. Western Michigan this year, vs. Notre Dame in Week 3 last year).
Two wide receivers have been suspended by Purdue following arrests this week, and the Boilermakers have a new quarterback ready to lead the offense. All in a day’s work for head coach Darrell Hazell, with the Boilermakers getting a bye week to regroup and prepare for Nebraska next week.
On the suspension front, Purdue has suspended B.J. Knauf and Jordan Woods. the two were arrested for suspected theft following an incident at a local mall. Knauf was suspended for Purdue’s next two games (vs. Nebraska, at Michigan State) and lost ticket privileges until completion of a community service commitment. The freshman starter has 95 receiving yards and one touchdown through four games. Woods, another freshman, has played sparingly at best this season and his loss is not a major detriment to the team’s on-field production at this time. He has been suspended indefinitely.
Purdue is also making a change at quarterback. Freshman Danny Etling will take over under center. The move should come as little surprise. Etling replaced Rob Henry (pictured) in Purdue’s loss to Northern Illinois last weekend. Etling completed 19 of 39 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns and was intercepted twice. As for Henry, he will not simply be sliding down the quarterback depth chart. Instead, he will move over to defense to fill a need at safety. The Purdue secondary has been hit hard by injuries this season. This is not a slight on Henry and his standing on the team. Instead is quite the opposite. The two-time senior captain has given everything he is capable of giving to Purdue and has worked hard to stay on the field despite his injury past. Viewed as one of the most respected leaders on the team, his commitment to fill in at a position that is in need of bodies should be commended.