LINCOLN — Both the head coach and father of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez said Monday that his nagging left foot injury hasn't improved and may keep him out for the rest of his NU career.
“It comes down to his foot, and his foot hasn't enabled him to play,” Pelini said during his weekly press conference. “No one's more frustrated than Taylor. It's a foot injury that we knew could linger, and it really hasn't gotten much better.
“I can't look into a crystal ball. But it's been tough on the kid. I don't know if the chances are real good. It's not a good injury to have. You just don't know. It's difficult to say when it's going to heal. It's a tough way — it's a tough thing to happen to you during your senior year.”
Taylor Martinez's father, Casey Martinez, told The World-Herald in a text message Monday afternoon that Taylor's injury — which affects the second and third toes of his left foot — “gets worse the more you do on it” and could take “6 to 8 months to fully recover.” The news was originally reported by ESPN's Joe Schad. Casey Martinez also spoke to the Associated Press via email.
“He knows we have two very good and capable QBs that are going to do some very good things for the program,” Casey Martinez said, “and Taylor's goal now is to support the team in any way that he can.”
In Taylor Martinez's absence, redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong and fifth-year senior Ron Kellogg have combined to go 5-0.
Martinez, NU's career leader in total offense, has played in only one of the Huskers' last six games, starting in the 34-23 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 26. Until that game, coaches said Martinez had a turf toe injury. In a press conference afterward, Martinez said he'd actually hurt the second and third toes on his left foot late in the Wyoming game and felt pain every time he planted on his left foot. He hasn't practiced or talked to the press since.
Casey Martinez said Monday that Taylor thought he could tolerate the pain against Minnesota, “but unfortunately exerting himself at that magnitude proved to aggravate this kind of injury even more.”
Neither Casey Martinez nor Pelini has ruled Taylor Martinez out entirely, however. Nebraska has nearly one month before a potential berth in the Big Ten championship game and nearly two months before a bowl game.
Martinez didn't make the trip to Michigan, Pelini said, because Nebraska had to bring extra special teams players in case of injury. Big Ten teams are allowed just 70 players on the road.
Although guard Jake Cotton — who is hurt — made the trip, Martinez stayed behind in part because his younger brother, safety Drake Martinez, had surgery earlier in the week.
Pelini noted that some other injured players didn't travel, either.
“I wouldn't read anything into that,” he said.
Another guard, Spencer Long, was at the game, but his season is over after knee surgery.
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Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini
Video: Nebraska offensive lineman Brent Qvale
Video: Nebraska defensive back Ciante Evans
Video: Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong
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