Notebook: Teammates say Sutton’s injury is “nothing major”

Jake Simpson

At first, it looked like just another one of Tyrell Sutton’s sensational runs. The senior tailback broke through the line, spun past another defender, and sped down the field for 31 yards.That run quickly turned into Northwestern’s worst nightmare.Favoring his left leg, Sutton limped off the field. When the Wildcats came out for the second half, their superstar stayed in the locker room, receiving treatment on an unknown “left leg injury.”Head coach Pat Fitzgerald did not reveal any specifics.”I don’t talk about injuries until I have a report, so I have no idea,” he said. “I think he’ll be OK, I hope, but we’ll see.”While the Cats’ coach did not comment further when pressed on the subject, Sutton’s teammates were more forthcoming. Addressing the media immediately after Fitzgerald, middle linebacker Malcolm Arrington stated Sutton will be fine.”It’s nothing major,” he said. “Tyrell’s a fighter. He’ll be back. So definitely expect him to play next game.”While Sutton returned to the sideline in the second half, he was without pads and walked with a noticeable limp. During the final minutes of the game, Sutton was seen icing his left hamstring on the sideline.Still, quarterback C.J. Bachér echoed Arrington’s statement that the Wildcats’ star back was not seriously injured.”He’ll be all right,” Bachér said.If Sutton were to miss any time, it would be a repeat of last season, when he missed five games with a foot injury.

BACHéR’S BAD DAYIn the days leading up to the Ohio game, Bachér and the offense stressed the need to play within themselves and avoid big mistakes. Instead, the Cats’ quarterback threw a career-high four interceptions, with three coming in the second half while a victory was still in doubt. The signal-caller and team captain shouldered the blame for the offense’s poor performance.”I feel a lot of responsibility for this offense,” he said. “When we’re not playing well, I put the onus on me.”While Bachér offered no excuses for his anemic play, his body told another story. The senior addressed the media with a bandage on the two middle fingers of his right hand. Bachér said he sprained the fingers in the first quarter when his hand hit a defender’s shoulder pad after a throw.Whether or not the injury affected Bachér, his play fell in the second half, when the Cats failed to score and gained only 80 yards on 35 plays. Despite the anemic attack, Fitzgerald emphatically rejected any notion of benching Bachér.”C.J. is our starting quarterback,” he said. “If you all of a sudden decide to take C.J. out when he’s in the midst of a storm, I think you open Pandora’s Box to his confidence level being shaken.”

SINGLE-DIGIT SUCCESSFor the second straight game, NU held its opponent under 10 points, allowing a lone touchdown in its victories over Southern Illinois and Ohio. The last time that happened? Thirteen years ago, when NU reached the Rose Bowl with Fitzgerald leading the defense as a junior middle linebacker. Now leading the team from the sidelines, Fitzgerald said he was pleased the defense had excelled in the statistic that matters most.”I think that’s the No. 1 important fact I think when you look at the stats on the defense, and that’s the number of points they give up,” he said. “Yards, total yards, that’s all overrated.”

EXTRA POINTSBacher threw for 133 yards, the second-lowest total of his career… NU received 21 votes in Sunday’s USA Today poll, which is voted on by the coaches. No. 25 Vanderbilt received 103 votes… With his 11-yard reception in the first quarter, Sutton became just the second player in NU history with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving