(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Northwest Missouri State will have a full stable of running backs for Saturday's game against Minnesota State Mankato.
Head coach Adam Dorrel expects senior running backs Jordan Simmons and James Franklin to play against the Mavericks in the second round of the Division II Playoffs.
Simmons, Northwest's leader with 17 all-purpose touchdowns, broke his left arm in practice before the first round game against Harding.
The Kansas City native's arm is currently in a cast, and despite the green light on Saturday, Dorrel is monitoring Simmons in practice.
"I'll have to watch him this week to see if there are things he's limited on, and certainly if he's limited on something, I'm not going to ask him to do it. We'll just insert Billy (Creason) or Kohlman (Adema-Schulte) in there. From all indication I'm seeing, he's not going to have many limitations."
Franklin, the Bearcats' rushing leader with 733 yards, was injured on the first play of the game against Harding.
He picked up ten yards on the carry before getting hit hard from behind, and left the game one play later.
Franklin did not practice on Tuesday, but he is likely to suit up in Minnesota.
"He's progressing to where my medical people are saying he's probably going to play," Dorrel said.
If Franklin is not able to go, the Bearcats can fall back on Creason.
The junior from Grain Valley rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Bisons, his largest output since picking up 169 yards in a game in 2010 versus Truman State.
"We're real flexible with our script," Dorrel said. "It's going to allow us to move Billy from the tailback to what we call the c-back to playing some fullback."