Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rogers expects to play Saturday

September 25, 2002

Despite suffering bruised ribs in MSU’s loss to No. 10 Notre Dame, Charles Rogers plans to play against Northwestern on Saturday.

“Even if I’m not 100 percent, I’m still able to go out there and be a decoy,” Rogers said. “No matter if I’m 85 or 100 percent, I still can draw a lot of attention out there on offense.”

Rogers said his right side is tender, and that it hurts to perform simple tasks such as sitting down.

But he hasn’t missed practice, suiting up with the rest of the Spartans all week.

With a touchdown against the Wildcats (2-2) Saturday, he could set the Big Ten record for number of touchdown passes caught during consecutive games and the NCAA record for number of touchdown passes caught during consecutive regular-season games. His touchdown in the Notre Dame game tied those records.

Also seeing the nurse

Rogers wasn’t the only starter to go down hurt against the Fighting Irish. Sophomore defensive tackle Brandon McKinney left the game with lower back spasms. But like Rogers, the 6-foot-3, 293-pounder is expected to start against Northwestern.

Freshman wide receiver Agim Shabaj also continues to nurse a sprained knee that has kept him out of every game except the season opener against Eastern Michigan. He is listed as probable, and head coach Bobby Williams said he’ll see action as soon as he can.

Starting over

With the Big Ten season starting, many Spartans look at the conference schedule as a way to put their two-game losing streak behind them.

“We’re disappointed with the beginning of the season,” junior center Brian Ottney said. “It’s the beginning of a new season for us.”

Ottney said comments about the Big Ten being a disappointment as a conference don’t matter so far. He said teams always find a way to win in Big Ten play and MSU has to be ready.

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