Purdue loses another QB; Jack Plummer needs surgery

Purdue has lost its second quarterback to a likely season-ending injury.

Redshirt freshman Jack Plummer broke his ankle in Saturday's win against Nebraska and will undergo surgery Tuesday or Wednesday, the team confirmed to ESPN on Monday afternoon. Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm said earlier Monday that Plummer "probably" will miss the rest of the season.

Plummer has started Purdue's last five games after Elijah Sindelar, who opened the season as the team's starter, sustained a broken clavicle in a Sept. 28 loss to Minnesota and underwent surgery. Brohm said Monday that he's "not optimistic" Sindelar will return but isn't ruling it out completely. Plummer and Sindelar have combined for 20 of Purdue's 21 touchdown passes this season.

Aidan O'Connell replaced Plummer against Nebraska and went 6-for-6 passing on the Boilers' game-winning touchdown drive. O'Connell, who has completed 15 of 22 passes on the season, will start Saturday at Northwestern. Purdue hasn't started more than two quarterbacks in a season since starting four in 2010.

"He's a guy that I think can execute the offense," Brohm said of O'Connell. "He'll stand there and try to make the throw and sit in that pocket and do the best job that he can. He is an accurate passer that has good fundamental form -- fundamentals, and technique and form, and has worked hard to perfect his throwing mechanics and craft. We've got to play to his strengths and help him get into rhythm and get completions. I think extending the play and getting yards with his feet is not his strength, but you know what, he still has to be able to do it at times."

Freshman Paul Piferi will back up O'Connell, and junior Danny Carollo will be the third-stringer. Sophomore Nick Sipe several weeks ago retired from football for medical reasons.