This has been a forgettable senior season for Burkhead who has missed five games since he sprained his left knee in the season opener vs. Southern Miss and has aggravated the injury twice more and had to leave early in three more games.
Practicing on a limited basis this week suggests Burkhead is inching closer to a return and with Senior Day this Saturday, you have to believe he will do everything in his power to get on the field for the final home game in his illustrious career in Lincoln.
Last year was a special one for the native of Plano, Tx as Burkhead rushed for 1,357 yards–eclipsing his combined rushing total of his first two years and also added 15 touchdowns on the ground in the school’s first season competing in the Big Ten conference.
However, the injury-plagues season, Burkhead has rushed 405 yards on only 47 carries in parts of five games. In fact, he has only eclipsed double-digit carries twice this season, a feat he had accomplished 24 in the previous 26 games.
Thankfully for Nebraska they have had quality depth in the backfield to ease the loss of their All-Big Ten back with Ameer Abdullah and freshman Imani Cross in addition to the rushing of quarterback Taylor Martinez stepping up in the absence of Burkhead.
From a fan’s perspective I’m rooting for Burkhead to get through this week of practice and be healthy enough to give it a go in front of the home fans for the final time.
However, with a potential trip to the Big Ten title game and Rose Bowl berth hanging in the balance, Burkhead should be smart and not rush back and suffer yet another setback.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.