AMES, Iowa (AP) — Sam Richardson is moving better, throwing better and generally looking more like a healthy quarterback.
But the Iowa State sophomore still isn't completely over the right ankle injury that has nagged him for almost a month and his recovery has been complicated by a groin problem that popped up recently.
Richardson sprained his ankle in the Cyclones' season-opening loss to Northern Iowa on Aug. 31 and was noticeably hampered in his team's loss to Iowa nine days ago. Fortunately for Richardson, the Cyclones had no game last week, giving him more time to recover.
Iowa State plays again Thursday night at Tulsa.
"Sam is moving much better than he did in the Iowa game, but he's far from healthy," coach Paul Rhoads said Monday. "It's a lingering type of ankle injury that might bother him throughout the course of the season. So you start to adjust and deal with it, but he certainly was moving better in yesterday's practice than he did even last week."
Rhoads said the groin problem likely stemmed from Richardson compensating for the balky ankle.
"You get one and it affects the other," he said.
The coaching staff was close to replacing Richardson with redshirt freshman Grant Rohach at halftime of the Iowa game. But Richardson played the rest of the way and threw two second-half touchdown passes to make the 27-21 loss appear closer than it actually was.
Though Rohach has yet to take a snap with the Cyclones, wide receiver Justin Coleman said the team trusts him.
"He's been playing really well this last week. He's kicked into gear," Coleman said. "I think part of that is knowing that he needed to be ready. So I think we'd be confident with him out there if that's what we needed."