Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said team spirits remain good in the wake of season-ending injuries to Michael Rose, Jr. and Charles Jackson, and the year-long suspension of safety Leroy Alexander.
"Our team morale is fine," Pelini said. "You guys will make more of it. I feel those those kids, but as far as us going forward, we got a lot of good players, we got a lot of good competition, we'll be just fine."
Pelini confirmed what Rose had disclosed on Instagram the night before: That he'd suffered a season-ending knee injury. Rose appeared at practice and hobbled around, encouraging teammates, much as nickel Charles Jackson did after his knee injury was disclosed. Rose suffered the knee injury in a non-contact situation.
Sophomore Josh Banderas, with whom Rose has been battling for the starting middle linebacker job, is now the No. 1 middle linebacker. Pelini said senior Trevor Roach would move back to the middle linebacker spot to back up Banderas.
"Trevor's played a lot of Mike linebacker for us," Pelini said. "He's a good football player."
At safety, Nate Gerry had been battling with Alexander for the starting job. He'll be the top guy opposite Corey Cooper, with D.J. Singleton, Kieron Williams and Luke Gifford providing depth. Williams, a true freshman, has been especially strong early in camp.
"Kieron's aggressive, he has good instincts, but he has a long way to go as far everything," Pelini said. "The more we install, it's all kind of running together for him for now. But he's shown a lot of good things."
At nickel, Byerson Cockrell is the first man up to replace Jackson.
» Chongo Kondolo has been working with the first-team offense at guard. Givens Price has been working at right tackle; he had been at guard. Pelini said Price "had a really good week at tackle."
"That's the spot for him," Pelini said. "I know he can go in and play guard."
» Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr. left practice early but "will be fine," Pelini said, after "getting dinged a little bit." Armstrong walked off the field under his own practice.
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Video: Bo Pelini's post-practice Q&A