Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who came out of last Saturday's 19-7 loss at Western Kentucky with a head injury, is expected to play this week against Air Force, according to head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
After losing for the first time this season, Navy (2-1) hosts rival Air Force (1-4) in a nationally televised 11:30 a.m. kickoff Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy announced Monday the game already is sold out. Reynolds is expected to start against the Falcons.
“I think he is going to be OK, I think he is going to play,” Niumatalolo said after practice Monday. “They kept him out today. It was just a running day. Tomorrow he'll start running, and he'll probably go Wednesday and Thursday.”
Reynolds said that he has gone through a couple of baseline concussion tests and Niumatalolo said the star sophomore will be tested throughout the week.
Said Reynolds, “I feel good. I got a lot of rest this weekend, a lot of rest today, I feel a lot better than I did on Saturday.”
It marked the second time that Reynolds has been knocked out of a game with a head injury while playing for Navy. Reynolds said it “felt very similar” to last year's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl game against Arizona State, when he left the game with a concussion.
When it happened Saturday after what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit by Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson, Reynolds said, “I knew something wasn't right. … The ref was telling me to stay down. My teammates saw something in me that wasn't right. I've just got to recover and get ready for this week.”
Niumatalolo said he has filed a complaint with the Atlantic Coast Conference, which officiated the game at Western Kentucky, about the hit made by Jackson. A USA Today Sports photographer caught the shot at impact, showing Jackson's helmet lowered into Reynolds' helmet.
“It's unfortunate, but we're pressing forward,” Niumatalolo said.
Niumatalolo joked that Reynolds said on the sideline “he could have gone back in, and I'm so competitive I would have probably put him back in, but you've got to make sure you protect the kid.”
The Midshipmen were leading 7-3 at the time of the injury, but struggled to run its triple option with junior quarterback John Hendrick.