LINCOLN — Inside linebacker Collin Miller was carted off the Memorial Stadium turf Saturday on a stretcher with medical personal bracing his head and neck, but later reports tempered fears of an extremely serious injury.
The senior captain was transported to Bryan Medical Center as a precaution. But according to a press release from Nebraska, Miller has movement in all of his extremities and results of diagnostic imaging and testing on him were normal. Miller was kept overnight at the hospital for observation.
Coach Scott Frost said after the team’s 41-23 loss he was “cautiously optimistic” about Miller’s condition, and that the defender had feeling everywhere and a full range of motion.
Teammates and staff gathered around the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder from Fishers, Indiana, after his injury, which came with 11:53 left in the contest. Senior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle said it was heartbreaking to watch considering the work and leadership Miller constantly puts in.
“I told him he’d be good and God’s got a plan for him and God is with him — He’s not going to leave his side,” Bootle said. “I’ve just been praying for him ever since. I just want my guy to be good.”
Said tight end Austin Allen: “This one hurt for sure. It hurt even worse because one of our brothers is down.”
The inside linebacker was hurt on a 4-yard Illinois run on third-and-1 from the Nebraska 9-yard line. The stretcher came out and he was seen moving his hand as he left the field.
Miller had four tackles in the game. One of Nebraska’s five captains and an outspoken leader in the program, he entered the game tied for second on the team with 23 stops along with two quarterback hurries.
Nebraska has mainly utilized a three-man rotation at inside linebacker, also using senior Will Honas and sophomore Luke Reimer. Reimer briefly left with a limp after Miller’s injury and was replaced by redshirt freshman Garrett Snodgrass.
Honas finished with a team-best 10 tackles and Reimer added seven.
Frost said his “No. 1 concern” was the status of Miller.
“Collin’s been the heart and soul of our football team,” Frost said. “Collin’s probably been our best leader and he’s played really well for us.”
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