Provo • Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps will make the first start of his career without one of his top offensive weapons.
BYU announced Wednesday night that junior O'Neill Chambers, a receiver who was moved to tight end last week, has been suspended for two weeks for "disciplinary reasons."
Chambers will not be allowed to participate in practices or games during the suspension period, meaning he will miss Saturday's game against Nevada and the Oct. 1 game at Utah State.
On the field, it is a big blow to a struggling BYU passing game that generated just 88 yards in a 35-14 loss to Air Force and 115 yards in a 34-10 loss to Florida State.
Lining up as a tight end, Chambers caught two passes for 27 yards against the Seminoles. He did not catch a pass against Air Force.
His presence as a kick returner will also be missed. Chambers had returned eight kickoffs for a 17.8 average in three games and four punts for an 11.2 average.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a school news release he would have no further comment on the suspension. However, on his weekly radio show Wednesday night, the coach said he will not put winning football games first and will "always do what is best for the school and the individual."
Last week, Chambers told The Tribune he was excited about the opportunity to play tight end because he believed it would allow him to get more catches.
"I have been waiting for an opportunity to get more touches, and I feel like this is a really good opportunity for quarterbacks to have more weapons on the field at the same time, more big bodies," he said. "I guess they like my physicality, so they asked me to move inside."
Mendenhall said the Cougars "limped through" practice for the third straight day on Wednesday, with four starters not including quarterback Riley Nelson missing practice again due to injury or illness.
Safety Andrew Rich was sick with a stomach virus but should play Saturday. Cornerback Brian Logan is still a game-time decision with an inflamed shoulder. Linebacker Brandon Ogletree is still questionable with an MCL strain.
Safety Steven Thomas is recovering from a concussion and will not play. Mendenhall said he will be replaced in the starting lineup by Travis Uale.
On the same day that it was announced he would undergo surgery for an injured shoulder and miss the remainder of the 2010 season, Nelson was named to the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Only 11 student-athletes from across the country made the team; three are quarterbacks.
BYU is among the nation's leaders in one offensive category, surprisingly. The Cougars are 7-for-7 in red zone scoring opportunities, tying them for first in the country. They've scored four touchdowns and three field goals.
email@example.com Twitter: @sltribbyu, @drewjay
Nevada at BYU
P Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV • The Mtn.