Cade McNamara has confirmed he is in the clear from his season-ending knee injury that he sustained in 2023.

At the end of September, McNamara injured his knee against Michigan State and would miss the remaining 7 games of the season. Without McNamara under center, Iowa would post one of the worst offensive performances in the country.

The good news moving forward is that McNamara says he has been fully cleared and taking part in all the offseason conditioning as expected. The quarterback also said his body is “handling it very well.”

“Football-wise, running-wise, conditioning — everything. I’ve been fully cleared,” said McNamara per Tyler Tachman with the Des Moines Register.

McNamara also said he’s fully with the team after what he described as a life-changing 8 months battling back from another knee injury.

“It’s been a battle,” McNamara said “Dealing with that level of adversity again, it’s tough. But I feel like these have been some of the most, honestly, really life-changing eight months I’ve had in my life. So I’m just excited to get back out there.”

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Impact for Iowa

While McNamara is cleared for action, questions about his overall readiness will linger until we get closer to the season. Fair or not, that’s simply the fact of the matter for a player who has seen time in just 8 games the past 2 seasons.

Missed preparation time also counts, and McNamara has missed essentially 2 seasons’ worth of practice time.

The good news is that McNamara can now continue preparing for the season and a new offensive system under new coordinator Tim Lester. It’s also clear McNamara is still the best option for the Hawkeyes under center when fully healthy.

Deacon Hill, Iowa’s starter during McNamara’s absence, struggled heavily in the passing attack. He also hit the transfer portal and left the Hawkeyes this spring.

To add depth, Iowa added former Colorado State QB Jackson Stratton and former Northwestern QB Brendan Sullivan in the portal. Those pieces provide more security for the QB room of the Hawkeyes but a lot of their potential still rides on McNamara’s experience.