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Dobbs's playing status to be determined on Thursday

Junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who has not practiced this week due to an injured right knee, could play in Navy's game on Saturday against Wake Forest if he's able to practice on Thursday, Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. If Dobbs can't practice, then sophomore Kriss Proctor will start in his place on Saturday.

"Ricky's the eternal optimist. Ricky thinks he can play this Saturday," Niumatalolo said. "Our doctors don't think he can play, but after watching this kid the last couple of years, I'm not ruling anything out with him. Like I said, he shouldn't have played Saturday [against SMU]. He got hurt on the second play and he finished the whole game."

Dobbs did not miss a snap in Navy's 38-35 overtime victory at SMU, and rushed for 89 yards on 26 carries. He underwent tests on Tuesday that revealed a crack in his kneecap, and doctors determined that it was likely an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Dobbs could have surgery to repair the injury, but for now, he will wait and see if he can play with the pain.

"They say it's the type [of injury] where I won't do too much damage" if he continues to play, Dobbs said. "It's more pain tolerance than anything. It's an injury I had prior to coming here, and I believe it came from when I played Warner Robins my senior year in the first round of the playoffs. I had sat out a play for my knee, but I had forgot about that. I continued the game then, too."

Dobbs was wearing an immobilizer brace that ran the length of his leg on Wednesday, yet he still managed to jog to the locker room after practice, his right leg kicking out a bit. He said that he doesn't expect the pain to be worse than what he experienced on Saturday, when he had to ride a bike on the sidelines in order to keep his knee from stiffening up. His knee was stiff on Monday, but when he ran after practice, he felt it loosening up, he said.

"I'd love to give [Dobbs] a week off and get ready, but obviously we've got a very good team coming here. We've got to play," Niumatalolo said. "If he can't play, I have confidence in Kriss that he can get it done. We'll go with Kriss."

By Camille Powell  |  October 21, 2009; 9:35 PM ET
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