Utah State coach Matt Wells expressed shock Monday that a defensive lineman from BYU, Utah State's opponent this week, said injured star quarterback Chuckie Keeton of USU would sit out the season with a medical redshirt.
Instead, Wells said Keeton's status was still undetermined, and joked about whether the Cougars were in touch with the Utah State medical staff.
Wells ruled Keeton out for two games in the initial aftermath of the injury (he suffered it Sept. 13 against Wake Forest), and said Keeton would be reevaluated leading up to the BYU game. Keeton tore his ACL last season against BYU, but according to Wells, the knee injury against Wake Forest did not result in an ACL tear.
That was the backdrop for BYU DL Remington Peck's comment:
"We heard something different today. I heard they're actually medical redshirting him, as of now," said BYU defensive lineman Remington Peck. "That could be different. If he is there, obviously, it's a whole different deal with his legs. He's very good on the ground. You'd have to prepare more for a two-dimensional quarterback. ... As far as we know, they announced last night that they're medical redshirting him, but I still think we need to prepare just in case he doesn't."
And with that, an otherwise garden-variety BYU-Utah State game just picked up an intriguing subplot.
How much trash talk, if any, will Peck now draw from the Utah State offense? Will Peck backtrack publicly at the next opportunity? And just what will be said between Wells and Peck before or after the game?
Whether Keeton plays or not, it will be interesting to see how those potential issues sort themselves out.
Prior to the season, an NFC North scout told NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks that Keeton could be the best quarterback in the West. Keeton (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) was off to a rough start this season as a passer, completing 51 of 92 passes with four interceptions and just two touchdowns prior to the injury. In three games, he has rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries.