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Knee injury could sideline Iowa's Scherff

This much we know: Iowa all-American offensive tackle Brandon Scherff hurt his right knee last week in the Ball State game. What we don't know: how much, if any, time Scherff will have to miss.

Iowa TV station KCRG reported that Scherff underwent surgery on the knee Tuesday morning. On Twitter, reporter Scott Westerberg said Scherff told him he hoped to be back for the Sept. 20 game against Pitt but was confident he'd return in time for the start of Big Ten play.

But later on during the Big Ten coaches' teleconference, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz wouldn't confirm or deny that report.

Asked specifically if Scherff had surgery, Ferentz said, "Brandon injured his knee Saturday, I guess that's pretty apparent. Outside of that, I don't have much to tell you. He got hurt, came back and he did a helluva job. He was stiff on Sunday, like you'd expect. We had a lot of guys sore and stiff. Right now, he's got an opportunity to play, so that's what we're focused on."

Ferentz is usually pretty forthcoming on injuries, but this week is a rivalry week as the Hawkeyes face Iowa State. So it's not too surprising he wouldn't say much about his best player.

If Scherff is out, that could put the Iowa offense in a bind. The team ranks just 11th in the Big Ten in rushing after two games, a surprising figure. And Iowa has had to scrape by both Northern Iowa and Ball State at home. Without Scherff, beating Iowa State and Pitt becomes a trickier challenge. Redshirt freshman Ike Boettger would step in at left tackle for Scherff.

Scherff isn't the only Hawkeye nursing some bumps and bruises this week. Defensive end Drew Ott, who was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week for his 13-tackle performance against Ball State, was reportedly hospitalized Monday morning after a scooter incident.

Ott, who wasn't wearing a helmet, was struck by a car while riding his scooter around campus, according to reports. Ferentz said he spoke to Ott on Tuesday morning, and all indications are that he's OK.

"As far as I know, he will be ready to go," Ferentz said.

It's a relief to hear that Ott avoided a potential serious injury. As for Scherff, we may have to wait to find out more.