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Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell is expected to start in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship after the death of his brother.
The sixth-year senior returned home with his family after the Boilermakers 30-16 victory over Indiana on Saturday.
Indiana released a statement from O’Connell and his family on Sunday that confirmed his brother’s passing. The cause of death was not revealed.
O’Connell did not practice on Monday and was not on campus.
It’s unclear as to when he’ll return to the team this week.
Head coach Jeff Brohm said that when O’Connell does return, the team will be there to support him. “He’s got things he’s got to deal with this week as well, but we’ll be there to support him and whenever we can get him back here and get back to work, we’ll look forward to that,” said Brohm.
O’CONNELL WAS A WALK-ON AT PURDUE
The team wasn’t sure if O’Connell was going to play last weekend after the passing of his older brother Sean. There’s no doubt he used his faith in God for strength, something that he has been very open about.
The walk-on-turned-starter threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s Big Ten West Division-clinching victory. Television cameras showed him afterwards crying into a towel on the sideline.
He will once again look to use his older brother’s passing as an inspiration when Purdue looks to knock off No. 2 Michigan on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game.