Temple's Reilly returns to practice

Temple quarterback Connor Reilly. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)
Temple quarterback Connor Reilly. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 13, 2013

Quarterback Connor Reilly returned to practice Wednesday, but he practiced with the second unit, a further indication that backup quarterback Clinton Granger could start for Temple (0-2) Saturday against Fordham.

"As of right now, Juice [Granger] is taking ones, and I was running with the twos," Reilly said after practice. "He's healthier, and he's running with the ones right now. But Coach Rhule will make the decision come game time."

Temple coach Matt Rhule, who did not speak to reporters Wednesday, on Tuesday said that Reilly was "day-to-day" with an unspecified injury to his right knee.

Reilly did not practice Tuesday. Rhule said that if there had been a game on Tuesday Reilly would not have played.

Reilly was hurt midway through the fourth quarter but returned for the Owls' next series in a 22-13 loss to Houston in the first American Athletic Conference game.

Reilly said his knee did not hurt badly when he left Lincoln Financial Field. However, later Saturday evening, the knee started to throb.

"There is so much adrenaline involved when you are playing the game," Reilly said. "I didn't feel it as much when I was playing. I didn't' want to let my teammates down, so I went back in the game.

"Later on that night, though, around 8, my knee was on fire. I knew it was worse than we originally thought."

While he was unable to participate in practice Tuesday, Reilly said the knee felt "pretty good" after the workout.

"I just needed a few aspirin and some ice," he said.

Granger, who started two games last season, wants the Owls to get on a roll. Dating back to last season, the Owls have lost seven of their last eight games. Their last win, a 63-32 victory over Army in November, came with Granger, a George Washington High School product, starting at quarterback.

While he had to be disappointed that he was not named the starter this season - Reilly never started a game before this season's opener - Granger has not talked extensively about it.

"It's been a challenge," Granger said. "But I have just tried to get better even if things didn't go my way. I can't control what decisions they make. I believe in me. I believe in the system. I want to go out and play quarterback and win."

After this weekend's home game, the Owls have a bye and do not play again until they visit Idaho on Sept 28.

Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer

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