The pre-season All-American has been sidelined with a pulled leg muscle since early fall camp, but according to Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini the junior could have played if needed against Washington.
The Nebraska secondary, which has been hurt by Dennard's absence, should see a spark with his return in both the passing and running game.
"Obviously, it hurts you. In my opinion, there isn't a better corner in the country. I think he is that good. Obviously, you miss a guy like that," said Pelini. "It has also given us an opportunity to look at other guys. You're 3-0 and have looked at other guys and given them opportunities to gain experience. Hopefully it makes you stronger over the long haul."
At the same time, Pelini knows Dennard's return doesn't mean everything is fixed.
"He is only one guy. You have to keep growing up and keep getting better. You have a guy who I think is a really good football player, and you're going to miss him," said Pelini. "It is going to help you to have him back out there when he is ready to go. I want him to get out there for him, because right now he is chomping at the bit to play. He is a competitor who wants to get out there on the field."