Lewerke reveals hurt shoulder after loss to Wolverines
Junior quarterback Brian Lewerke revealed after Michigan State's loss to the Wolverines Saturday that he has been having issues with his right shoulder since playing Penn State last weekend.
Lewerke did not practice from Monday to Thursday this past week due to his shoulder injury, and he admits he does not feel 100 percent.
“I tried to go the best I could,” Lewerke said. “The adrenaline helped a little bit. Obviously it helped last week when I got hurt, too.”
During the 21-7 loss to U-M, Lewerke struggled and went 5-for-25 through the air for 66 yards and was sacked twice.
Coach Mark Dantonio and co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner did not know how Lewerke was feeling before the game on Saturday. They also do not know why Lewerke continued to struggle during the game, but did not feel the need to take him out earlier in the matchup.
“I don't know whether he was off, dinged up or what,” Dantonio said. “He's played well for us and we wanted to give him the opportunity to continue to play. He never asked to come out so I didn’t want to pull him.”
Lewerke said he does not want to use his shoulder as an excuse for the his play against the sixth-ranked Wolverines. He knows it could have played a minor factor in his execution, or lack thereof, but not enough to take the entire blame.
Warner and Dantonio both said they do not want Lewerke to feel the pressure of receiving the blame for the loss Saturday. To them, it was a team effort and the loss doesn't fall on one player.
“It's not on Brian,” Warner said. “He certainly did not have his best day, but we did not have our best day offensively, so it doesn't all come down on him.”
Toward the end of the fourth quarter, redshirt freshman backup quarterback Rocky Lombardi came in to replace Lewerke, but not because of the Junior's dinged up shoulder.
Looking forward, Dantonio reconfirmed the team will have to see how Lewerke feels over the next few weeks, but he said there is no question Lewerke will remain the No. 1 option behind center.
“Brian’s our quarterback,” Dantonio said. “We’ll evaluate that (Lewerke's injury) as we go. ... There is no quarterback issue or anything like that. He’s been very successful here.”
As for the rest of the offense, they are beginning to lose more and more players as the season moves forward, as senior wide receiver Felton Davis III was carted off the field after tearing his left achilles against the Wolverines.
Davis will miss the rest of the season due to his injury, and Lewerke knows this will only make the offense' job harder.
“Yeah that sucks, my prayers go out to him (Davis),” Lewerke said. “It’s not going to help our offense that’s for sure. We’ll have some other guys step up.”
The Spartans are also without sophomore running back Cody White, who suffered a broken hand three weeks ago against Central Michigan, and sophomore cornerback Josiah Scott, who suffered a knee injury before the start of the season and has yet to see the field.
Senior running back L.J. Scott made his return Saturday after dealing with an ankle injury the past several weeks.
"We've had a lot of injuries, more than we've had in the past, but we measure ourselves on how we play as a team and the team has 120 people on it," Dantonio said.