Bret Bielema and Barry Lunney Jr. have to be pretty pleased with Illinois’ 6-1 start. That is even with the team facing some injuries in the backfield. The good news for the Illini is they could be getting some reinforcements shortly.

News this week out of Champaign is that backup running back Josh McCray returned to practice. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound back hasn’t played since Week 0 against Wyoming. McCray has rushed for 31 yards on 8 attempts this season.

His expected return should help primary running back Chase Brown. Brown has led the Illini offensive attack with 1,059 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also has 15 receptions for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Illini have a bye before facing off against Nebraska in Lincoln. The extra week of rest for McCray and company probably comes at a good time.

Illinois heads down the stretch with a chance at a B1G West title and spot in the B1G Championship Game. The race in the division is likely to come down to a head-to-head matchup with Purdue down the road.