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Illinois Football: Joe Fotu, Caleb Day suspended indefinitely; Jihad Ward might return early

Illini head football coach Tim Beckman suspends 2 defensive players for violation of team policies.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Fotu and Caleb Day have been suspended indefinitely for violations of team policy, Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman told reporters Wednesday.

The players will continue to practice, but there is no word on missing game time.

Fotu, a senior defensive tackle, recorded six tackles, including five solo tackles last season. He was expected to be compete with redshirt freshman Tito Odenigbo and true freshman Jamal Milan for playing time at DT behind Rob Bain, Teko Powell and Jarrod Clements.

Beckman also stated senior defensive end Jihad Ward, who was expected to miss the first two games of the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week, could return sooner than anticipated, but didn't expand on Powell's foot injury status.

Day, a junior safety, spent most of spring ball behind Taylor Barton at strong safety, but projected to be an option at free safety if Clayton Fejedelem didn't perform. Day played in 12 games last season, compiling 16 tackles, including a career-high five during the Illini's loss at eventual national champion Ohio State. During his true freshman season in 2013, he played cornerback.

The Illini open their 2015 season Sept. 4 against Kent State at home.