A week after Ole Miss welcomed its most talented offensive player back to the lineup, the Rebels' top defensive player is making a return as well. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in a 37-24 loss to Memphis on Oct. 17, is cleared to play Saturday at Auburn.
"Rob's cleared to go. As long as he doesn't have any more symptoms, he's looked good both days of practice. He's ready to go," said Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Wednesday, per Scout.com.
Nkemdiche reportedly awoke last Saturday morning with a headache, compelling the Rebels to hold him out of the team's 23-3 win over Texas A&M. That game marked the return of offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who had been suspended all season during an NCAA eligibility investigation. The Rebels will not only get Nkemdiche back this week, but injured safety Tony Conner could return from a meniscus tear, as well.
"Rob's been acclimated, he's just got to be symptom-free, which he is right now," Freeze said. "Everything looks good with him. Tony is just 'How is he progressing?' He's been out a while. I think he got 12 snaps yesterday. I don't know how many today, but we'll kind of see how he goes throughout the week and how much swelling there is and all the things the docs have to look at to judge him. His is day-to-day."
Nkemdiche, a junior, is one of the top defensive players in the nation. Earlier this month, NFL Media's Chad Reuter ranked him the No. 6 player in the college game.