Purdue's Rondale Moore Won't Play vs. Iowa for an Undisclosed Reason

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 28, 2018, file photo, Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore runs against Auburn in the first half of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game, in Nashville, Tenn. Purdue receiver Rondale Moore and Nevada running back Toa Taua each made a big mark on his respective team as a freshman. Now it’s time to see what they’ll do for an encore, beginning Friday night when Nevada hosts Purdue in the season opener for both teams. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Star wide receiver Rondale Moore will not play Saturday when the Purdue Boilermakers make their season debut against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Purdue didn't give a reason for Moore's absence. ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported that he is likely to play next week against Wisconsin.

Moore initially opted out of the 2020 college football season amid uncertainty regarding when Big Ten teams would play during the COVID-19 pandemic, but after a Big Ten slate was announced, he opted back in last month.

The 20-year-old Moore is set to enter his junior season and can position himself as one of the top wideouts in the 2021 NFL draft should he choose to enter.

As a freshman in 2018, Moore burst onto the scene with 114 receptions for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus 213 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in the nation.

Moore was off to a strong start last season with 29 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns in four games, but a hamstring injury cost him the remainder of the season.

In his latest 2021 NFL mock draft, Bleacher Report NFL draft expert Matt Miller predicted Moore will go 13th overall to the Atlanta Falcons, making him the fourth wideout off the board behind LSU's Ja'Marr Chase and Alabama's Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.

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Big Ten teams are playing a truncated, conference-only schedule in 2020, and Moore is expected to be the Boilermakers' primary offensive weapon.

Purdue has finished with a losing record in each of the past two seasons, going 6-7 in 2018 and 4-8 in 2019, but Moore gives fans hope for improvement and a bowl game in 2020.

The Boilermakers will also be without head coach Jeff Brohm against Iowa on Saturday, as he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Brohm said this week that Purdue would likely be without five or six players against Iowa, although he didn't provide a reason for their absences.