James Madison linebacker Jamie Veney spent Tuesday's practice wearing glasses and sweatpants.
But he hopes to trade those in for his customary shoulder pads and helmet before the Dukes' season ends.
The sophomore suffered a knee ligament injury in the second half of Saturday's 27-0 loss to Villanova. On Monday, head coach Mickey Matthews said he expected the injury to sideline Veney for the season.
But Veney said Tuesday he had suffered only a sprained MCL. He has an MRI scheduled for Thursday, but Veney was optimistic he could return this season.
"I think I have a chance," he said. "I'm going to work hard to get back. Get treatment everyday, three times a day. Do whatever I have to do to get back and help my team out."
Despite being unable to practice, Veney stayed active on Tuesday. At one point he lined up as an offensive lineman, mimicking blocking techniques during linebacker drills.
Sophomore Pat Williams and redshirt freshman Chase Williams lined up in the two first-team linebacker spots Tuesday.
"It's very frustrating, especially during this time. Of course I'd like to be out there helping my team come back around," Veney said. "But the other guys are going to have to step it up, and I'm going to help out and do whatever I can do."