C.J. Beathard laughs off latest injury 'scare'

Mark Emmert

IOWA CITY, Ia. — C.J. Beathard is amused by the constant rumors surrounding his limbs.

There was a mild Internet panic this week when the Iowa quarterback was not observed in pictures the university disseminated of football practices. Beathard started getting text messages from people who heard that he’d broken his ankle. A meme circulated on Twitter on Saturday of Beathard at the line of scrimmage with a Photoshopped prosthetic leg.

Beathard showed up for Saturday’s Kids Day scrimmage at Kinnick Stadium wearing a brace on his left knee, all of his limbs accounted for. And he laughed off all the attention.

“I’m the only one that really knows my own health, and the trainers and the coaches,” Beathard said. “It is funny how quickly things escalate from me not being in pictures or whatever.”

Beathard did have his knee bruised in practice this week when a teammate rolled into it. He sat out three practices over a two-day period, then returned Friday wearing the brace. On Saturday, he appeared to be in good health, although his time on the field was limited to two series plus some seven-on-seven drills.

“Fortunately, there was nothing major there,” coach Kirk Ferentz said of the injury suffered by his senior quarterback. “If there was a game today, he would’ve been playing full speed.”

Beathard completed 6-of-11 passes for 32 yards and one interception by Joshua Jackson on a deep pass into double coverage. He said his appearance wasn’t intended to allay any fears among Hawkeye fans, but just a sign that he is feeling good enough to play. If Kids Day had been on Thursday, Beathard said, the 11,739 fans in attendance would have seen him in street clothes just like several other Hawkeyes were Saturday.

Beathard sat out Iowa’s spring game in April after suffering a bruise to his right (throwing) shoulder late in that camp. That, too, was a precautionary move. Ferentz said Saturday that you can put red jerseys on quarterbacks to indicate that they are off-limits to physical contact, but you can never fully insulate any player from harm during practices.

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“Everybody at every level has that issue and that concern,” Ferentz said of keeping quarterbacks healthy. “At the end of the day, too, you’ve still got to practice hard, so you can’t just have the guy in a bubble back there. You’ve got to be able to cross the street, right? You can’t just live not ever crossing the street. And we’ll keep practicing.”

Beathard has worn the brace off and on during practices but prefers to go without it since the brace limits his mobility. He called it “a pain to wear.” After this week’s incident, he dutifully put it back on.

Beathard doesn’t go on Twitter, but does have an Instagram account and said somebody had told him about the photo of him with a prosthetic leg.

“It’s good to know people care,” Beathard said. “Either that, or they don’t have anything else better to do than look at Hawkeye Instagram pages.”