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Colorado vs. Nebraska, 9/8/18

Nebraska starting quarterback Adrian Martinez is helped from the field after being injured Saturday against Colorado at Memorial Stadium.

Adrian Martinez got quite a scare Saturday afternoon and a big sigh of relief later in the weekend.

The freshman quarterback escaped serious injury to his right knee late in the fourth quarter of Nebraska's 33-28 loss to Colorado at Memorial Stadium on Saturday and even has at least a chance of playing this weekend against Troy. 

NU coach Scott Frost did not get into details of the injury, suffered on a rushing attempt with 3 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the game, but did say Martinez suffered "no real ligament damage," and categorized the young signal-caller as "day-to-day." 

Does he really have a chance of being ready by kickoff against Troy at 11 a.m. Saturday?

"I think there's a chance," Frost said. "We got about as good of news off the examination as we could have gotten. He's a little sore but doing a lot better today than I expected. I don't think it will be long."

Martinez needed help getting off the field after the injury and had ice wrapped around his right knee before the game even ended. Sunday, he was at a Husker Heroes event wearing a sleeve over the knee but walking without crutches or any aid. 

Martinez did not practice Monday and Frost said the staff could push a decision on his availability all the way to Saturday morning before kickoff. 

The Fresno, California, native showcased his talent in his collegiate debut before the injury, throwing for 187 yards on 15-of-20 passing and rushing for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including a 41-yarder in the first quarter. He also had some mistakes, losing a fumble on Nebraska's second possession and throwing an interception in the fourth quarter. 

"We're going to do everything we can to get other guys healthy and (Martinez) is going to do everything he can to get healthy and learn the game plan," Frost said. 

Sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch will prepare for what could be his first career start. Bunch played the final 3:29 in relief of Martinez, completing 4 of 9 for 49 yards.

"Bunchy, when he's got his opportunities, has done a great job," Frost said. "In fact, I was really pleased with how he performed when he came in. ... We'll try to alter it a little to make sure he's comfortable with what we have in, but there's not going to be wholesale changes. He knows our stuff and he's done a good job running it." 

Added sophomore corner Dicaprio Bootle, who has faced Bunch a lot over the offseason months and preseason camp, "Bunch can throw and he's mobile, too. You're always kind of on your heels about that because it's like, 'Is he going to try to squeeze it in there?' He can make the hard throws. Is he going to try to squeeze it in there or try to run it? Bunch is a good quarterback." 

Next in line after Bunch walk-on freshman Matt Masker, who was slinging passes for Kearney Catholic at this time last year.

Frost said the Huskers are kicking around the possibility of getting another quarterback ready in an emergency situation.

"We've got a couple ideas," Frost said. "Obviously, we don't have the depth there that we'd like to have, so we have to have somebody ready to go in in case the worst-case happens. We're kind of sorting through options."

True freshman cornerback Cam Taylor played quarterback in high school. Taylor told reporters on Monday that he hasn't been approached about practicing at QB.

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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