Indiana players fighting the flu

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Indiana head coach Bill Lynch revealed Tuesday that the flu kept a handful of key defensive players out of practice last week, including starting middle linebacker Matt Mayberry, starting defensive end Greg Middleton and starting safeties Austin Thomas and Nick Polk. Indiana endured its worst defensive performance of the season in last Saturday's 47-7 loss to Virginia, which piled up 536 yards (305 passing, 231 rushing) in the game.

"I would never use that as an excuse because I think it's something we're going to have to deal with throughout the fall," Lynch told reporters in Bloomington. "It looks like it's on every college campus, and I'm not sure we're done with it. We had several guys on defense that didn't get a chance to practice last week and if you don't practice, it sometimes reflects what happens on the field."

Mayberry admitted that the enthusiasm was lacking in Charlottesville and might have stemmed from himself and others dealing with the flu.

A few other notes:

  • Lynch said linebacker Damon Sims, who had a chance to play as a true freshman, will be redshirted. The coach is taking a wait-and-see approach with two other true freshmen, quarterback Edward Wright-Baker and kicker Mitch Ewald.

  • Running back Darius Willis (ankle) and right guard Pete Saxon (ankle) are listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Illinois (Big Ten Network, 7 p.m. ET).