Reading Between the Lines with Martinez
It's fair to say that this week is the best opportunity to see Taylor Martinez start at quarterback for Nebraska since the UCLA game. That hardly makes it a lock that he'll play. As NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck put it, his participation is a "gametime-type deal". That statement alone is not so telling but a few others paint a picture that make a Martinez appearance at least somewhat doubtful.
More from Beck with comment:
"We’re going to play the best guy, and the healthiest guy, and the guy who going to help us win." "Healthiest" sure doesn't scream Martinez.
“If he [Martinez] holds true and he gets healthy and feels like he’s able to go, I think he’ll be excited to try and be out there and play.” Notice the word "gets". You'd feel better if Beck had said "stays". Then the words "try and" which also adds some doubt to whether Martinez will be able to and allowed to play.
"It’s so early to tell in the week. It’s so hard to tell where he’s going to be on Thursday..." If a guy is truly healed and pain free, I don't think you'd hear this kind of statement. This seems like another indication that they'd want to see some progress from his current state or that there's some doubt about whether a setback might occur.
Put it all together, and it seems pretty questionable whether Martinez would play. Even if Tommy Armstrong struggles, you'd think Ron Kellogg is a good enough quarterback to deliver a victory without the Huskers having to insert a still healing Martinez. Minnesota might be the last "easy" game on the schedule (if Purdue wasn't). So getting healthy in the next 10 days would be a pretty good thing to see.