For the third straight year, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. will be in rehab mode during the offseason.
And for the third straight year, IU expects to have their star performer back for the start of the following season.
Penix had surgery on his torn ACL earlier this month after falling awkwardly against Maryland on Nov. 28. It was the second time Penix tore his ACL in his right knee.
Head coach Tom Allen said he expects to have his starting quarterback behind center when the Hoosiers kick-off their 2021 season on Sept. 4 at Iowa.
“Should be full bore for the start of the season, that’s the expectation,” Allen said at a media availability on Wednesday. “Fully healed, fully ready to go and fully ready to be our quarterback in 2021.”
Penix earned second team All-Big Ten accolades after leading the Hoosiers to 5-1 mark in 2020 prior to the injury.
Indiana’s lone loss with Penix running the offense might have been the redshirt sophomore’s best day as a Hoosier. The Tampa product threw for 491 yards, which ranks as the second best single day performance in school history.
On the season Penix completed 124-of-220 (56.4 percent) of his throws for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was intercepted 4 times.
Penix also ran the ball 18 times for 25 yards including negative sack yardage. He scored 2 times on the ground, and it was a play where Penix nearly scored with his feet that ended his 2020 campaign.
Now Penix is back in a familiar place.
“At this point, it’s just pure rehab,” Allen said. “It’s so critical, and obviously he’s done this before so he knows this, but it’s so critical you rehab at a high, high level for this type of injury to maximize your performance when you do come back.
“The next step is to continue to progress through this and then you get him back to movements,” Allen said.
Allen said he doesn’t believe Penix will be ready to fully participate in spring practices. After he tore the same ACL in 2018, he was able to throw and participate in 7-on-7 action at the 2019 spring game.
This 2020 injury happened about a month later in the season than 2018, and that might be the difference in whether we see Penix at all this spring.
Allen said he hopes that Penix will start throwing the ball more towards the summer. At that point he should be able to get back out on the field with receivers and perform the various quarterback movements.
“We’re gonna go through all this and once it kind of plays itself out, it all depends on how things progress from the doctor’s perspective, but right now he’s on schedule,” Allen said.
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