N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien doesn’t sound as though he is counting on linebacker Nate Irving returning to the lineup Saturday against Boston College.
O’Brien said Irving, who has an injured right ankle, has yet to get out of the training room and onto the practice field. During the ACC coaches’ teleconference Wednesday, O’Brien was asked whether Irving will play Saturday.
“I don’t believe so, no,” O’Brien said.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has made more progress than Irving after both players missed last week’s loss to South Florida with injuries. Wilson practiced Tuesday with a green jersey designating him for limited duty, and O’Brien expects him to practice more today.
“We’ll make a decision at the end of Thursday’s practice whether he’ll be ready to play or not,” O’Brien said.
Two days earlier, O’Brien said N.C. State will practice this week as if backup Harrison Beck will start.
O’Brien said safety Clem Johnson, who returned from a broken jaw last week, has regained all of the weight he lost while his jaw was braced to allow for recovery. Johnson lost between 10 and 15 pounds, and regained eight pounds within a day after the braces were removed.
Johnson played a limited role against South Florida, and O’Brien said as a junior college transfer he will ease back into the lineup slowly as he learns the system.
“We’re starting all over with him,” O’Brien said. “He played a little bit on last Saturday, and hopefully we’ll be able to play him a little bit more this Saturday.”