IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) C.J. Beathard says he's fine. Now, he can't help but laugh at the rumors and frantic texts he received this week asking if he had a broken ankle - or worse.
Beathard missed a couple days of workouts this week with a bruised knee after his left knee got rolled up on in practice. The senior quarterback returned to practice Friday and looked sharp in limited reps Saturday during Iowa's annual Kids Day workout at Kinnick Stadium.
''Fortunately, it's nothing major,'' Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. ''If there was a game today, he would have been playing full speed.''
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Beathard wore a precautionary knee brace Saturday at the team's final public practice before it opens the season against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 3. Beathard has worn a brace before, but says it slows him down too much.
Iowa's three backup quarterbacks took more snaps than usual during the scrimmage at the end of practice. Ferentz said it was an opportunity to see what they could do with the first-team offense.
Beathard participated in seven-on-seven drills and then played only two series during the scrimmage. But he says the knee feels good and he's relieved it's only a minor injury.
''It could have been a lot worse than it was,'' Beathard said. ''It didn't look good.''
The Hawkeyes, who went 12-2 and reached the Rose Bowl last season, are hoping Beathard can finally be healthy this fall.
Beathard was banged up most of last season with a hip injury and still earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, throwing for 2,809 yards with 17 touchdowns against only five interceptions.
Beathard had surgery to repair a sports hernia in January. He missed the team's spring game in April with a bruised right shoulder - another precautionary move.
Given Beathard's injury history, it's not surprising that rumors swirled this week on social media and online when he wasn't seen in photo of practice posted by the university.
''I start hearing all these rumors and people texting me, asking me if I broke my ankle,'' Beathard said. ''I'm like, `Where do you get this information from?' It's funny for me.''
Beathard's injury drew the most attention, but several key Hawkeyes missed Saturday's practice.
Tight end George Kittle, cornerback Greg Mabin and linebacker Ben Niemann - all starters - did not dress Saturday. Ferentz expects them back in practice as early as Monday.
Sophomore Jay Scheel, who emerged this offseason as someone to help with Iowa's depth at wide receiver, missed practice with a hamstring injury. He's expected to return next week.
Ferentz said tight end Jon Wisnieski (knee sprain) is going to miss a couple weeks and defensive lineman Jake Hulett (leg fracture) is out 4-6 weeks.
The Hawkeyes will finish their fall camp Friday with a closed scrimmage.