IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa football team is in a bye week, but that still might not be enough time for starting outside linebacker Nick Niemann to heal before the next game.
Niemann will miss a "couple weeks" after suffering a leg injury late in this past Saturday's 28-17 loss to Wisconsin, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday on the Big Ten teleconference.
Niemann had started Iowa’s first four games at outside linebacker and recorded 10 tackles in the loss to Wisconsin.
Sophomore Barrington Wade has been listed as Niemann’s backup on the depth chart, but Ferentz said junior Kristian Welch is also an option to move from his weakside spot, Welch started Saturday’s game but was replaced by Djimon Colbert in the second half.
"We’ll take this week and just kind of fool around with that, see what it looks like,” Ferentz said of the plan to replace Niemann.
Iowa has this weeked off before returning to action against Minnesota on Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Minneapolis.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Niemann is one of five linebackers who already have started a game for Iowa this season. Wade would become the sixth different linebacker to start should he get the nod.
The other linebackers to start for Iowa this season are senior Jack Hockaday, junior Amani Jones, Colbert and Welch. Colbert is a redshirt freshman.
Starting cornerback Matt Hankins also left Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury. He was replaced by true freshman Julius Brents.
“Matt’s got a couple issues right now,” Ferentz said. “We’ll see how that goes this week.”