Illinois RB Josh McCray was seen in warm-up gear running around the field during the pre-game of Week 6, sparking hopes that the RB would play on Saturday against Iowa.

The RB has been out with a hyperextended knee since the season opener against Wyoming in Week 0. Illinois has been relying on the talents of Chase Brown during McCray’s absence.

In his last update on the RB, head coach Bret Bielema called McCray a “work in progress,” saying that there were indications McCray was close to returning. Although his presence on the field was not an official update, it’s a big hint at McCray’s readiness to play.

McCray was the No. 2 back in 2021, rushing for 549 yards in the Illinois backfield. Before suffering the hyperextended knee, he had a positive showing in Week 0, rushing for 40 yards on 10 carries in the Illinois win.

Despite the injury and time missed on the field, McCray is expected to have a big season with the Illini.