Freshman quarterback Alex Delton is ready to return to Kansas State practice. Senior cornerback Danzel McDaniel won't wear a Wildcats uniform again. And senior safety Dante Barnett may not play again until next season.
Tuesday was filled with K-State injury news.
The good: K-State may finally get reinforcements at quarterback.
Junior Joe Hubener has started every game since Jesse Ertz was lost for the season to an opening-game knee injury, with no viable passer backing him up. Delton injured his right knee against Texas-San Antonio and hasn't practiced or played since early September. Junior-college transfer Jonathan Banks has also been out, forcing receiver Kody Cook to serve as emergency quarterback.
Snyder said Delton intended to practice "in a limited capacity" Tuesday, making him an intriguing option should Hubener continue to falter. Hubener, a former walkon from Cheney, has completed 66 of 145 passes for 963 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions this season. K-State (3-4, 0-4 Big 12) has fallen into an offensive slump lately, amassing a total of 352 yards and nine points in its past two games. The team has lost four straight for the first time since 2008.
Delton, of Hays, pushed Hubener for backup duties during preseason practices and saw action near the end of K-State's first two games. His speed and running ability could bring new elements to the offense. He may not be game ready by Nov. 5 against Baylor, but it's possible he could play a limited role against the Bears. Significant action could be possible the following week at Texas Tech.
"We are going to see how he practices and see where we are," Snyder said. "We haven't made that decision yet, and we won't make a decision without visiting and spending time with Alex, because, at the end of the day, whether he comes back on the field or not will be his decision."
If Delton opts to remain on the sideline, he will explore redshirt options.
Now to the bad news: It appears Barnett, a strong safety, may also pursue a redshirt. The preseason all-conference selection has not played since the opener due to an undisclosed shoulder injury. Snyder said he is unlikely to play against Baylor, and possibly beyond.
When asked if Barnett could miss the remainder of the season and apply for a medical redshirt, Snyder simply replied, "yes."
Barnett could also request a standard redshirt, as he played immediately as a freshman and only saw action in two quarters this season. He has traveled with the team to every road game, and defensive back Sean Newlan says Barnett remains a leader throughout the secondary.
His return would boost an ailing secondary, but if he is unable to play he could return for a fifth season and help lead K-State's defense next year. However, Barnett would have other options, including turning pro or pursuing a graduate transfer. His desires are not known.
McDaniel's status is more certain. The hard-hitting senior will miss the remainder of the season with an injury. He played in four games, totaling 18 tackles and one pass breakup. He came to K-State from Dodge City Community College last season, making a name for himself with big hits and a touchdown off an interception against Oklahoma.
K-State will forge ahead without him and, most likely, Barnett.
It will hope for the best with Delton.