Iowa football: Injured wide receiver Brandon Smith not listed on Hawkeyes' depth chart
Those who saw Brandon Smith be hoisted off the Kinnick Stadium turf by teammates shouldn't be surprised that Iowa's talented junior wide receiver was not listed on this week's depth chart.
The two-deeps released Monday served as confirmation that Smith's status for Saturday's 11 a.m., ESPN2-televised game at Northwestern is in serious doubt.
Smith enjoyed a career day in Iowa's 26-20 win against Purdue, a victory that pushed the Hawkeyes (5-2 overall, 2-2 Big Ten Conference) to No. 19 in the Amway Coaches' Poll. He posted nine catches for 106 yards, but it was his final grab (for 5 yards on a screen) that ended with an injury to his lower right leg. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said afterward that early tests showed that the damage might be a bone bruise; he was hopeful it was nothing worse. We might learn more at Tuesday's weekly news conference.
Smith is Iowa's leading receiver for the season, with 33 catches for 407 yards and four touchdowns, and delivered one of the season's most spectacular plays — a 33-yard touchdown catch late in a home loss to Penn State.
Iowa has its second idle week after the Northwestern game. If he cannot play against the Wildcats, he would have had three weeks between the injury and the Hawkeyes' Nov. 9 showdown at Wisconsin to recover.
In the meantime, freshman Tyrone Tracy Jr. (15 catches, 218 yards) replaced Smith atop the depth chart, with freshman Calvin Lockett (no career catches) as his top backup. Iowa will likely lean on Ihmir Smith-Marsette (27 catches, 443 yards), Nico Ragaini (30 catches, 280 yards) and Tracy for Saturday's game against the Wildcats. Michigan transfer Oliver Martin did not play against Purdue.
There were two other notable depth-chart items Monday. Middle linebacker Kristian Welch, who did not play against Purdue because of an unspecified injury, was unlisted. Freshmen Dillon Doyle (37 snaps) and Jack Campbell (30 snaps) shared the workload against Purdue and are listed 1-2 there.
At left cornerback, Riley Moss is listed as co-starter with Matt Hankins. Moss replaced Hankins early in the third quarter (coach's decision) and quickly delivered a game-changing interception.