Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels is expected to be back in action for the Jayhawks' game against Illinois on Friday after missing the team's season opener against Missouri State, according to Action Network. Daniels, who was voted by media members as the preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, was after previously being limited in fall camp due to back tightness. Jason Bean started in place of Daniels against Missouri State, completing 22 of 28 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-17 victory.
Daniels is coming off a 2022 season in which he missed multiple games due to a shoulder injury, though that didn't keep him from having a productive season. The dual-threat signal-caller ended the year passing for 2,014 yards and 18 touchdowns against just four interceptions, while adding 425 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Daniels passed for a whopping 544 yards during Kansas' Liberty Bowl loss to Arkansas in what marked the Jayhawks' first bowl appearance in more than a decade.
As for Bean, Daniels' absence in 2022 allowed him to make his mark as a serviceable quarterback for the Jayhawks. Bean, who transferred in from North Texas, started in place of Daniels when Daniels was sidelined due to injury and ultimately ended his second season at Kansas passing for 1,280 yards and 14 touchdowns against just four interceptions. But Daniels' expected return should add a jolt to the Jayhawks offense as the team faces its first power conference opponent of 2023.
Kansas and Illinois are set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday from Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas. It's the sixth time the two schools have met, with Illinois holding a 3-2 edge in past matchups. The Jayhawks won the most recent matchup, played at Illinois, in 1968.