Purdue football is looking forward to the potential return of senior outside linebacker Kydran Jenkins for their game against Wisconsin on Friday night. Jenkins missed the second half of last week’s loss to Syracuse due to injury. Coach Ryan Walters provided an update, saying that Jenkins is still going through the rehab process and his availability for the game will depend on his readiness. If Jenkins is unable to play, the next player in line according to the depth chart is either Will Heldt or Scotty Humpich, both of whom have had experience filling in for Jenkins during spring practices.
Jenkins has been a key contributor to the team’s defense this season, with 13 tackles, four for loss, three sacks, and four quarterback hurries. He has been a three-year starter for Purdue and has accumulated 12 career sacks. Walters acknowledged the impact of Jenkins’ absence in the second half of the Syracuse game, stating that he is a great player and his presence was missed.
Heldt, a true freshman, has shown promise during spring practices after enrolling at Purdue early. He has recorded one solo tackle and one assisted tackle in games against Fresno State and Syracuse. Humpich, a sixth-year senior who transferred from Murray State, played in 13 games last season for Purdue and recorded 16 tackles, including a sack against Penn State. He sacked Syracuse’s quarterback in the most recent game for his only tackle of the season.
Walters acknowledged that while Heldt and Humpich have shown potential, there are still areas for improvement. He mentioned the importance of them playing within the defensive framework and executing their assignments effectively. From a schematic standpoint, Walters also emphasized the need to utilize their skills in a way that aligns with their capabilities. Overall, he believes that both players are highly capable of contributing to the team’s success.
In conclusion, Purdue football is hopeful for the return of Kydran Jenkins for their game against Wisconsin, but will be prepared with alternatives if he is unable to play. Will Heldt and Scotty Humpich have both shown potential as replacements and, with further growth and development, can effectively bolster the team’s defense.