Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano updated the availability of a three key personnel for the program during his game week presser for Temple on Tuesday.
Starting defensive end Wesley Bailey got dinged up late in the first half against Northwestern on Sunday. He did not return but Schiano said after the game
“I believe [Bailey] is going to be okay. He was limited today,” Schiano said. “Again, we’re on a short week, so this should really be the day they have off, getting a lot of treatment, and then get it cranked up for tomorrow. We’ve kind of just backed things up for the injured guys, but we can’t back it up for the guys that are good to go.”
Hopefully, Bailey is healthy enough to play Saturday night. However, the fact that it appears to be a minor issue is the most important takeaway.
Defensive line coach Marquise Watson missed the Northwestern game due to a medical issue. Schiano was unclear of when he would return to his coaching duties.
“Don’t know if we’ll have him back for Saturday night. I sure hope so,” Schiano said Tuesday. “He’s doing better. He’s one of us. He’s a tough, tough guy. He’ll get well.”
“I know people care about him and I want them to know that he’s doing better and we’ll get him back eventually,” Schiano said. “I know he’s talked to his players, not sure about the whole team. I’ve talked to him every day and he’s getting better.”
As for wide receiver Naseim Brantley, who transferred from Western Illinois this off-season, Schiano remained upset by the situation.
“It is an eligibility question,” Schiano said. “I’m not going to get into the details yet, because it’s still under advisement, but you could see Saturday how disappointed I was.” Schiano said.
He continued, “This is a kid who came here, who had a tragic compound fracture in his leg playing at another school. I’m at a loss. I’m really at a loss, but we’re going to keep working because that kid deserves to play. There’s no funny business.”
Schiano didn’t have clarity on when the eligibility issue could be resolved for Brantley.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Schiano said regarding a potential timeline. “When you try to predict those things, you’re better off buying a lottery ticket.”
Despite the obvious frustration with the situation, Schiano was adamant that Rutgers was doing everything they can to help resolve the situation for Brantley.
“We’re going to keep working, because that kid deserves to play,” Schiano said.
Obviously for a receiving core that is mostly unproven and still wide open, getting Brantley back would be a big gain. The FCS all-conference player was expected to compete for a starting role this season. His potential impact could be an important addition for the wide receivers room.
As for a key player who is back after a prolonged absence, Schiano praised the return of Mohamed Toure. The team’s sacks leader in 2020 and 2021 missed all of last season with a torn ACL. He was voted a captain before Sunday’s game and and registered a sack to properly announce he was back.
“It’s got to tell you something that his teammates elected him captain,” Schiano said. “He hadn’t played in a year, so the last time that they remember him was in  – yet that’s the kind of respect he has in that locker room.”
You can watch the full nine minute press conference below
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