August 28, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) No. 16 Louisville will have reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson at quarterback for Saturday night's opener against Purdue in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Boilermakers may be making a game-time decision on their starter.

Reigning Big Ten passing leader David Blough (295 of 517 for 3,352 yards, 25 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season) suffered a sprained right shoulder diving for the pylon during an Aug. 12 scrimmage. The junior only returned to practice on Sunday.

First-year coach and former Louisville and assistant Jeff Brohm said Monday that he hopes Blough will be the starter Saturday night. The staff will evaluate Blough's ability to pass without pain before making a decision. If Blough is not ready, sophomore Elijah Sindelar, who completed 14 of 32 passes for 165 yards and three interceptions in limited 2016 action, will be the starter.

Brohm said the injury leaves some uncertainty for Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, whose Cardinals were 9-4 last season. Purdue was 3-9.

''David was having a great camp,'' Brohm said. ''Unfortunately, David missed two weeks after the injury, but he looked good Sunday. In the meantime, Elijah has practiced well. We feel very good about both guys. ... With that being said, even before David's injury, we planned to play more than one quarterback.''

As a former quarterback, Brohm understands the severity of a throwing shoulder sprain, especially for a team that plans to rely heavily on the passing game. With Blough under center in 2016, Purdue ranked 21st nationally in passing offense - two spots ahead of Louisville, which got 3,543 passing yards and 30 touchdowns from Jackson.

While Blough hated missing two weeks of fall camp, he understood the medical staff and coaching staffs' decision to hold him out of practices.

''That's why you have to be cautious with it,'' Blough said. ''It's very unfortunate, especially at this time of year, but better now than Week 3 or 4 ... We do have a little bit of time, and that's the encouraging thing.''

Sindelar, who grew up in Princeton, Kentucky, said he is sorry Blough has been injured. He has gained valuable experience working with the No. 1 offense.

''My development has gone really well,'' Sindelar said. ''Between first team and second team there is a difference, so to be able to go with all the No. 1s has prepared me even more for being able to step into a game and be ready at any point. My mindset is to dominate, and that hasn't changed. Just because I'm getting more first-team reps doesn't mean that now I have to turn it on. It's already been on.''

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