USd's Earl Cleared For Return

The Coyotes have gotten the good news they’ve been waiting for.

Joe Glenn says the team received word Thursday that the Chicago-based surgeon that worked on Kevin Earl’s broken thumb last month has cleared the quarterback for contact.

USD quarterback Kevin EarlEarl was injured in USD’s season-opening loss at Oregon when his throwing hand made contact with an opposing player’s helmet.

Since then, we’ve heard that it could be anywhere from 4-8 weeks before he’d be ready to return, though no one seemed comfortable committing to anything specific.

Earl has practiced on a limited basis this week, but the Coyotes will proceed with caution.

Glenn says Earl – who did participate in the team’s walk-thru at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. on Friday – will backup Ryan Saeger for Saturday’s game against No. 16 Southern Illinois, before making his return to the starting lineup in next week’s Dakota Days game against Northern Iowa.

I caught up with Earl at the team hotel on Friday afternoon. Here’s what he had to say about his impending return: