Northwestern Wildcats senior running back Venric Mark has only played in one full game this season because of injuries. He had been a big part of the Wildcats’ offense, running for over 1,000 yards in 2012 and was also an All-American punt returner.
Mark could be returning for the Wildcats, but not this season as he is out for the rest of the year with a fractured ankle. The one full game he played in this season was in the loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes, in which he only ran for 60 yards. The following week he suffered a broken ankle in the Wisconsin Badgers game.
The Wildcats expect Mark to apply for a medical redshirt after this season so he can make a return in 2014 and hopefully make up for his injury-plagued senior season. He suffered a leg injury earlier in the season.
Northwestern has suffered numerous injuries this season, but especially at the running back position. The Wildcats had to bring in a redshirt freshman, Stephen Buckley, to fill in, but even he has suffered an injury. He had to have knee surgery after getting hurt in the Wildcats’ loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The once feared offense that had the dual quarterback threat of Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian is no more, especially not without the explosiveness of Mark in the backfield.
The Wildcats started the season 4-0 before dropping their next five games. Everyone had high hopes for the Wildcats this season, but now that they are 0-5 in the Big Ten and have games coming up the next two weeks against the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, it’s not looking good for them. Their only hope of a Big Ten win will come when they travel to Champaign to play the Illinois Fighting Illini on November 30.
Maybe next year will be the season the Wildcats dreamed about. If Mark is able to redshirt and make a return next season then the Wildcats could make that dream a reality.