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NAU Football

Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus (15) prepares to throw the ball as Daniel Bridge-Gadd (10) looks on during practice Aug. 4.

Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus has been officially ruled as a gametime decision to play in the Lumberjacks’ road game against Missouri State Saturday.

Lumberjacks head coach Jerome Souers confirmed after practice Wednesday that Cookus is being evaluated and the team is taking the injury slow as time progresses. Cookus was held out of practice with what NAU Athletics said is an “upper-body injury.”

“They're having him rest,” Souers said. “He didn’t practice today and he is going to see an additional specialist to get more insight to what our plans are going to be.”

“Everybody loves Case on our team,” Souers added. “He is one of our leaders. There’s a concern for him like anybody that goes through this kind of deal.”

Cookus sustained the injury late in the first quarter of the team’s 31-26 loss to Eastern Washington after he was tackled running down the sideline, landing awkwardly on the right side of his upper body.

This is the second time Cookus has been injured when playing Eastern Washington. In a 2016 home game, Cookus left the game late with what was later announced as a broken right collarbone.

Souers said everyone on the team is behind Cookus and players are ready to step up if needed, specifically backup quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd.

“But I also think there is a belief in Daniel that he has the skills and abilities to play the position for us.” Souers said. “ … As all teams do when you lose somebody, you gotta have somebody step up and find ways to create production in other areas.”

It is currently unclear who the starting quarterback will be when Northern Arizona travels to Missouri this weekend.

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Lance Hartzler can be reached at 556-2251 or at lhartzler@azdailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @lance_hartz.

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