Devon Butler is now wearing pads.
NIU coach Dave Doeren said Butler can participate in non-contact drills, but won’t be cleared for contact until April – one year after Butler had potentially life-saving surgery at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. Butler, who used his medical redshirt this season, was unavailable for comment Friday because he will not play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 8.

Doeren met with Butler on Thursday, just to emphasize the importance of not pushing his body too much. Even then, Doeren could sense his players’ excitement.
Mr Butler was in the wrong place at the wrong time last spring (a depressingly frequent occurrence of late), and I'm pleased to note his progress.

Rehabilitation after an injury with any kind of enforced idleness is work.  Younger bodies, fortunately, recover more quickly.

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