Quick Tuesday notebook: Eastern Michigan

As expected, sophomore starting fullback Larry Dixon (hamstring) didn’t practice Tuesday morning.

Junior Hayden Tippett and senior Dan McGue were the top fullbacks at practice.

Army coach Rich Ellerson added some insight into senior linebacker Nate Combs’ shoulder injury, saying one of the team’s captains will be “out for a while.” Army hopes Combs will return this season but it’s not certain.

Four players – QB Trent Steelman, QB A.J. Schurr, WR Patrick Laird and CB Marques Avery – were honored with the Ranger award for their effort against Kent State last week. Players wear black helmets throughout the practice week. Avery received the praise for the second straight week. He has played well enough to keep his starting job even with the return of senior Josh Jackson, a three-year starter, from a groin injury.

Schurr led Army on its final two drives, helping the Black Knights score a touchdown on his first series. “We had a couple of those opportunities in the past and we didn’t put him out there,”¬† Ellerson said. “We can all see there’s a reason we’re excited about A.J. The guy really has some upside and there’s no substitute for actually going into a game environment and running this stuff.” Schurr completed five of 11 passes for 66 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 21 yards.

Junior wide receiver Chevaughn Lawrence said Schurr has, “been doing a lot of good things at practice. For him to come in and do that, he stepped up really big.”

Junior Zach Reichert is pushing for time at left tackle. Senior Ben Jebb has started the first six games and played through an ankle injury. Ellerson said Reichert has the ability to effectively rotate in at either guard position so the staff  figured it would give him a try at tackle. Reichert saw some playing time at tackle in the fourth quarter against Kent State.

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