CHAMPAIGN — Lovie Smith included a fairly common refrain in his opening statement of his regular Monday press conference. The Illinois football coach "wasn't going to talk about injuries."
Then he did. At least a little bit when it came to the health of starting quarterback Brandon Peters and freshman quarterback Isaiah Williams. Peters left Saturday's game at Minnesota in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury. Williams didn't even make the trip to Minneapolis.
"They're getting better," Smith said. "There hasn't been enough time."
Illinois' first practice of the week is Tuesday. That will be the first indicator on whether Peters will return or if the Illini might go with backup Matt Robinson again. The redshirt freshman got his first extended playing time against the Gophers and completed 15 of 29 passes for 125 yards while also rushing seven times for a net negative yard.
A healthy Peters, though, would get the start Saturday against his former team. A healthy Williams might see some time against the Wolverines like he did against Nebraska.
"We've had guys heal up quickly," Smith said. "Neither one has a season-ending injury or anything like that, so we're hopeful. That's why we need to get to (Tuesday). Then, of course, we have all this week. A lot of things can happen. We'll need everyone, of course, to be able to beat a team like Michigan."