Bret Bielema knows that his running game can’t survive on just Chase Brown alone. Josh McCray has been out with a knee injury ever since the season opener against Wyoming in Week 0.

Bielema said that the team is still looking at McCray, and he could return against Wisconsin per Jeremy Werner of 247Sports. It all depends on how his recovery is going. Illinois plays Wisconsin on Oct. 1, following the UTC game on Saturday.

McCray had 549 yards rushing as the No. 2 back in the Illinois backfield last season. Bielema knows how important his contributions are to the run game. McCray was expected to be a big part of the RB rotation after appearing in 11 games last season for the Fighting Illini.

In other news, Bielema defended his decision to remove OL Julian Pearl from the Virginia game. Pearl left the game with a lower leg injury, and Bielema stated that he didn’t want to aggravate it any further.