MISSOULA — After hitting his head on the rock-hard turf in Ogden, Utah, against Weber State, Montana quarterback Gresch Jensen is in concussion protocol.
Montana coach Bob Stitt said on Monday he didn't know if Jensen will be ready to play this weekend against No. 18 Northern Arizona.
"I don't know. I haven't bothered him much to try to talk to him," Stitt said. "When you're going through that protocol, all we want him to do is rest. I texted him and he said he's feeling a lot better."
Stitt added: "That's a day-to-day thing when you go through concussion protocol. You gotta be very cautious with his well-being."
Montana was preparing for second-and-4 at the UM 15-yard line. Jensen went back in the pocket to pass. Scrambling deep in his own territory, he got a pass off that fell incomplete before being brought down.
As Jensen went to the ground, fans in the stands heard a loud thud as his head bounced off the turf.
"He didn't really get hit. He got pushed," Stitt said. "He got pushed and whipped his head back into their field. Their field is really hard. It's similar to what our field was before we replaced it. It was a similar situation to what we were having.
"Every time someone on a field like that, every time you come down on your tail end and your head goes back, it's almost an automatic concussion. That's what we were dealing with before we replaced our field and it's time for theirs to get replaced because it's really, really hard."
Stitt also said the push wasn't a dirty one.
"Their guys didn't cheap shot him," Stitt said. "It was a very clean play. He just came down and whipped his head into the turf. It's like hitting your head on cement."
He added: "Hopefully he's gonna be well soon and be back out there."
What happens if he's not back?
Caleb Hill, a 6-foot-4 quarterback from Brenham, Texas, is at the top of the depth chart until Jensen is cleared to play. Makena Simis, former Montana starting quarterback and current UM H-wide receiver, is second-string.
"Both of those guys, Caleb's been taking all the two reps, and Makena, we've been repping Makena all year at quarterback," Stitt said.
Simis has taken in-game reps with the first-team offense this season at quarterback, as Montana has successfully utilized a goal-line package with Simis under center. Simis has one rushing touchdown while being lined up in that package.
Hill's drive in the fourth quarter against Weber State was his first true drive with the first-team offense this season, though he did come in against Washington for one play and convert a third-and-2.
"We'll get the other guys ready to go," Stitt said.
Montana kicks off against No. 18 Northern Arizona at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday for its penultimate home game of the regular season.