Some much-needed speed will be back for Michigan State's offense in the form of sophomore wideout Jalen Nailor.
Nailor, who hasn't played since the Spartans' opening game against Tulsa, was listed as a starter on MSU's depth chart for the first time since August ahead of Michigan State's game against Rutgers this Saturday (12 p.m., FS1).
Spartan fans received a pleasant surprise last weekend when Nailor trotted out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel and onto the field for pre-game warmups. However, he never saw the field.
"Yeah, I think he'll play next week," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said following Michigan State's 44-10 loss to the Wolverines. "Just didn't want to, didn't feel like, we sort of left it up to him but felt like he hadn't practiced but really Thursday's practice. He was able to run this week, but not practice until Thursday. Too few practice reps, he hadn't been touched yet or hit yet. We just wanted to keep him safe and ready."
Three days later, Nailor finds himself back in Michigan State's starting lineup.
Wanted to give him an extra week to get his feet on the ground," Dantonio said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "He’ll play, practiced yesterday, so he’ll play.”
Nailor recorded three catches for five yards in Michigan State's 28-7 win over Tulsa to open the season before going down with a leg injury in practice before Michigan State's game against Western Michigan.
Nailor played in six games last year during his true freshman season where he caught eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, while also scoring once on the ground. So, whether the Spartan reach bowl eligibility or not this season, he will get the automatic redshirt for playing less than four games.