Phillip Payne has been out with a right foot injury since June and has not practiced at all so far during fall camp and for the first time all camp Payne participated. Payne only dressed in helmet and shoulder pads and participated in non-contact drills.
Coach Bobby Hauck believes Payne is close to returning and probably could:
"He's been out here running around, and he could put pads on anytime," Hauck said. "He's been here and done his stuff. As soon as we can feel good about him not re-injuring himself, we'll go."
It just seems that Hauck is just being extremely cautious in getting the team's best receiver completely healthy before he suits up in full pads. UNLV is not rich in talent so they need to take care of their special players.
It is still uncertain if Payne will be ready for the opener against Wisconsin and if he is unable to play look for sophomore Kurt Davis to get the starting nod along side Marcus Sullivan. That game is still 18 days away, and it seems from Hauck's comments that Payne will be ready to go on Sept. 1.