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Illinois running back Josh Ferguson 'very doubtful' for Iowa game with shoulder injury

Starting running back to miss time.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois starting running back Josh Ferguson is "very, very doubtful" for Saturday's game at Iowa with a right shoulder injury, interim head coach Bill Cubit said Monday.

The senior back did not return to Saturday's game against Nebraska after a 2-yard loss late in the first quarter.

The Illini (4-1, 1-0 in Big Ten) senior had 50 yards on four carries before leaving the game. He rushed for a season-high 133 yards against North Carolina -- his only 100-plus yard game this season -- and racked up 381 yards on 71 carries and three touchdowns while making 12 catches for 78 yards.

It's not the first time Ferguson has dealt with injuries. He received a medical redshirt during his first season at Illinios after missing nine games with a hamstring injury. Following that he has played in 33 straight games, dating back to the 2012 season.

True freshman running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn is Ferguson's backup. Vaughn ran for a career-high 98 yards on 24 carriers and caught one pass in the 14-13 comeback win for Illinois. The Antioch, Tenn. native has 325 yards on 76 carries and two touchdowns in five games this season.

The Illini travel to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes (5-0, 1-0) on Saturday in a Big Ten West division clash.