Starter worry? Hawkeyes QB Cade McNamara not back from injury

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Cade McNamara missed practice for the 11th consecutive day with a leg injury, and the Iowa starting quarterback isn’t the only player at the position hurting.

Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday that McNamara — dealing with a leg muscle issue since the team’s Aug. 12 scrimmage — might be cleared to join the team on the field by the end of this week. If so, it would give him ample time to prepare for the season opener. Iowa hosts Utah State on Sept. 2.

“The good news is I think he has a chance to start working in towards the end of this week,” Ferentz said. “Certainly by next Monday when we hit the field thinking about our opponent … we’ll know more at the end of the week, but I’m optimistic and we’ll see.”

McNamara’s backup, Joe Labas, has also been idle with injuries. Wisconsin transfer Deacon Hill, who has never thrown a pass in a college game, is the lone healthy quarterback in fall camp. Labas was 10 of 24 in Iowa’s Music City Bowl victory.

McNamara was hurt scrambling away from pressure outside of the pocket during the public scrimmage.

The Michigan transfer landed in Iowa City in December. He began the 2022 season as the Wolverines’ starting quarterback, but a season-ending knee injury Sept. 17 cleared the path for J.J. McCarthy to guide Michigan back to the College Football Playoff.

McNamara led Michigan to its first College Football Playoff appearance in 2021, also bringing a Big Ten title to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2004. Michigan was 12-2.

McNamara, named an offensive captain in August 2022, started the opener against Colorado State on Sept. 3.

–Field Level Media

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