LINCOLN — Mick Stoltenberg is back in black. Only a few weeks ago, the Nebraska co-captain wasn't so sure he would ever get the chance again.
When the senior defensive tackle felt his knee lock up multiple times against Michigan, he knew this wasn't the chronic knee pain he's had much of his college career. He's missed the last four games and spent time on crutches while rehabbing for the last month.
The Gretna graduate returned to practice Tuesday and was again full-go Wednesday. He expects to contribute Saturday against Bethune-Cookman.
"I might not go out there and play 45-50 snaps," the 6-foot-5, 315-pounder said, "but I'll play what they give me and I'll do what I can to help."
Stoltenberg has seen football through "a different lens" the last few weeks.
He's helped Carlos and Khalil Davis settle in at nose tackle. He's observed Scott Frost and his staff with a new appreciation for how they interact with players and each other.
Now he's ready to finish out this season. He can lay the foundation for Nebraska's future and maybe help spark his own NFL career. He's played in 36 career games with 24 starts and 63 tackles.
"At the end of the day, I know I'm getting opportunities here at the end and I'm blessed for that," Stoltenberg said. "I'm blessed it wasn't a season-ender. I'm blessed that I really haven't missed too much time in my career despite all the injuries that I've had."
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