Haldi has stress fracture, likely to play

By Frank Rusnak

Before Tuesday morning’s inspiring visit to the doctor, NIU quarterback Josh Haldi was questionable to play in Saturday’s season-opener against Maryland.

Haldi has a minor stress fracture in his right foot and hasn’t practiced since Aug. 25, but will be out of his crutches and cam-walker, an air-tight boot, for practice today.

From there, the team will take it on a day-to-day basis with Haldi expected to start. But NIU coach Joe Novak will not hesitate to put in backup Phil Horvath, a redshirt sophomore, if Haldi can’t go.

“As a coach you want him to play, but you also want to be smart,” Novak said. “We’ve got a lot of football to play still.”

The injury stemmed back from summer workouts where Haldi first felt the pain.

“It just started getting sore,” he said. “I’ve had four toe nails fall off during camp. My feet always hurt. But this just started getting more and more sore.”

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior needs 2,152 passing yards to break the NIU record of 6,782 set by George Bork in 1963.

“Hopefully I will be ready to go Saturday,” Haldi said. “I’m real optimistic about it now [after the doctor visit].”

With the season beginning with three non-conference games, Haldi keeps everything in perspective.

“It would be hard [not to be able to play],” Haldi said. “Our first three games are important, but we won those last year and we didn’t go to a bowl.”