Starter hurt for Illini

Starter hurt for Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Pat Flavin stood behind the end zone at the start of Illinois football practice on Wednesday.

No pads on.

Wearing a purple jersey.

And a protective boot on his right foot.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman said the starting right tackle against Youngstown State suffered the injury during Tuesday’s practice.

He was tight-lipped, however, when asked if Flavin would play on Saturday against Western Kentucky.

“We’ll see how things turn out,” Beckman said. “He didn’t go (Wednesday), but we’ll see (if he practices Thursday).”

Beckman didn’t specify whether Flavin sustained a foot or ankle injury. He didn’t rule him out for Saturday’s game, either.

“We’ll see,” he said. “I’ll make all those comments (Thursday).”

If Flavin can’t play, Illinois could start Christian DiLauro at right tackle.

Or move Michael Heitz from left guard to right tackle, switch Alex Hill from center to left guard and put Joe Spencer in at center.

“There was a competition at that position with DiLauro anyway, so we’re going to put the best five out there that we can,” Beckman said. “This is part of college football. The next guy’s got to get ready if he can’t play.”