Austin Seferian-Jenkins said his hand is healed and his conditioning is improving. He should be good to go for Illinois.
Seferian-Jenkins broke his pinkie Aug. 12. He said he has a little soreness now, but is catching passes and run-blocking the same as he was prior. “It’s an afterthought,” he said.
He also said getting dressed and doing his best Mateen Cleaves impression up and down the sideline Saturday was important to him.
“I came out here with my team and wanted to support them,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Anything that coach Sark graciously allowed me to do. That meant running up and down the sideline congratulating anybody that scored or just listening on the huddle. Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean you’re not part of the team.
“I think a lot of people misunderstand the importance of the people who are not playing.”
Seferian-Jenkins was so excited after Josh Perkins’ touchdown catch, he earned the Huskies a verbal warning from the officials.
The next step for Seferian-Jenkins is getting his conditioning to the level of his teammates so he can keep up with the up-tempo offense.
“I’m not where I want to be yet, but today I feel like I was running with the first team just as good as anyone else,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I think I am in pretty good shape by now, but I can be in excellent shape by next Thursday. I’ll be in top gear by then.”
The mystery of will-he-or-won’t-he play is now behind the preseason All-American. Since his March DUI citation, Seferian-Jenkins has been a big topic for things other than his ability to play football — which is also why he was a big topic.
Those questions are done now.
“They’re done, but what happened, happened,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I’m ready to just move on. I think everyone here has moved on. I think everyone on the team have moved on. That’s the most important thing. What the guys on the team think and the coaching staff thinks. We’re just ready. All we’re thinking about is getting better every day.
“That’s a thing in the past now.”