Ameer Abdullah's status uncertain

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The status of Ameer Abdullah grew murkier on Monday as Nebraska coach Bo Pelini answered questions about the star running back without the assured nature present in his remarks last week.

Abdullah, the nation's No. 3 rusher with 1,250 yards, did not practice during the Huskers' bye week after their Nov. 1 win over Purdue in which he suffered an MCL sprain to his left knee. He was mentioned as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate before the injury limited him to 1 yard on six carries against the Boilermakers.

The Huskers (No. 11 AP, No. 13 CFP) visit Wisconsin (No. 22 AP, No. 25 CFP) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

"I'm not a doctor," Pelini said Monday of Abdullah. "I don't know how it's going to play out."

Pelini said last week he expected Abdullah to return to 100 percent health against the Badgers and that the injury was minor in severity.

The coach on Monday reiterated, though without the qualifiers, that he expects Abdullah to play in Madison.

"We'll see on Saturday," he said.

Nebraska struggled offensively against Purdue without Abdullah. He was hurt on the Huskers' second series while diving for the goal line after he recovered a fumbled snap by quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.

The Huskers gained a season-low 297 yards in the 35-14 win. Backups Imani Cross and Terrell Newby rushed 29 times for 108 yards in Abdullah's absence.

Armstrong also provided a spark on the ground, rushing for 70 yards, but the sophomore QB fought inconsistency overall in throwing a pair of interceptions.

Pelini said he did not believe Armstrong would face more pressure as a result of Abdullah's uncertain status.

"That doesn't change Tommy at all," Pelini said. "Regardless of who's back there, Tommy has tremendous confidence in himself. It's not like Ameer's the only running back we have. He's a great player, and obviously we want a great player, but we've got some other pretty capable running backs."