Nebraska was already dealing with a major loss heading into the Music City Bowl.
Now, it’ll have at least two significant absences.
Mike Riley announced on Thursday that All-B1G safety Nate Gerry is ineligible for the Music City Bowl. That’ll end the four-year starter’s career at Nebraska.
Riley didn’t go into depth, but said that Gerry and Boaz Joseph were suspended:
Two players suspended/ineligible: safety Nate Gerry and Boaz Joseph. Did not violate Team rules. “You can figure it out from here.”
— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) December 22, 2016
Riley apparently knew that Gerry would be out earlier in the week.
That’s deflating news for a Nebraska team that struggled defensively down the stretch. Gerry was the unquestioned most valuable player on that unit. He had four interceptions and was second on the team with 74 tackles.
Gerry finished his career sixth all-time in Nebraska history with 273 tackles, which was second among Husker defensive backs.
Without Gerry, the Huskers will turn to Antonio Reed, who could take his place for good next year.
In addition to missing Gerry and Jordan Westerkamp, it’s looking more and more likely like Tommy Armstrong won’t be able to suit up for the Huskers.
According to Riley, the team is preparing as if Ryker Fyfe will start in favor of Armstrong, who didn’t play vs. Maryland after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of the Minnesota victory. He played, but was ineffective in the regular-season finale against Iowa.
With injuries mounting, Nebraska will certainly have to overcome a few obstacles to reach double-digit wins for the first time in four years.
UPDATE: Gerry released a statement, in which he said he didn’t meet his academic requirements.
— NG (@NathanGerry) December 22, 2016