EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State senior running back LJ Scott will redshirt this season, allowing him to return to the team for the 2019 season. Coach Mark Dantonio announced the decision to redshirt Scott after Saturday's 26-6 loss to Ohio State.
"I think he's been in and out and couldn't finish the Purdue game, so it's one of those things, you have an opportunity for him to come back, get his degree," Dantonio said. "He wants to do that, get himself right to play his final season at Michigan State. That's the decision we made with three games left."
Because of an ankle injury, Scott hasn't been able to gain full strength and has carried the ball only 55 times for 180 yards with zero touchdowns this season. He has played in four games this season, the maximum number the NCAA allows a student-athlete to participate in while still using a redshirt for the season -- so he couldn't face Ohio State on Saturday and preserve his redshirt.
Scott played as a true freshman for the Spartans in 2015, running for 699 yards and 11 touchdowns. He followed that up with 994 yards and six touchdowns and 898 yards and eight scores in his second and third seasons, respectively, but has dealt with injuries in 2018.
"We put it on him, 'Hey, this is it. If you play in this game and you get hurt, this is it,'" Dantonio said. "After sitting down and thinking about it, he and his family made the decision to redshirt, which I support."
Quarterback Brian Lewerke, meanwhile, said after the loss that he had considered ending his season because of a persistent right (throwing) shoulder injury.
"But I don't want to give up on this team," Lewerke told reporters.
Lewerke has split time with Rocky Lombardi over the past two weeks after missing the Spartans' win over Purdue on Oct. 27. Lewerke said there are some throws he currently can't make and that Lombardi has the stronger arm right now.
"Whichever one, either me or [Lombardi] that gives us the best chance to win, I think we should go with," Lewerke said of who should play at quarterback.