Northern Illinois will be without its leading returning rusher for the first four games of the 2014 season.
Head coach Rod Carey said that running back Cameron Stingily, who rushed for 1,119 yards and nine touchdowns last season, will miss the start of the season due to an undisclosed injury. Carey said that the team expects the senior to return at some point in the season.
“It’s tough to replace him but we knew we would be very, very deep there, and so we are,” Carey said, per the Daily Chronicle. “The next guy’s just got to understand, there’s probably going to be more carries for him, at least early.”
Senior speedster Akeem Daniels, who missed all of 2013 with an injury, seems like a likely candidate to see an increased role in Stingily’s absence. Daniels ran for 447 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. Additionally, junior Keith Harris Jr. also figures to be in the mix for carries. Harris ran for a combined 369 yards and six touchdowns in the past two seasons.
The loss of the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Stingily is a significant one for NIU, who are also looking to name a starting quarterback now that the versatile Jordan Lynch has graduated and is playing professionally.
Lynch and Stingily were a bruising 1-2 punch for the Huskies. With those two out of the picture when the season begins, a combination of the 5-foot-7, 189-pound Daniels and either junior Matt McIntosh, Anthony Maddie or Drew Hare (both sophomores) at QB will present a new look for NIU.
The team’s non-conference schedule is a tough one, too. After opening up with Presbyterian, the Huskies play Northwestern, UNLV, and Arkansas on the road.
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