Hospital officials say Butler's condition has been upgraded to serious from critical.
He was wounded in the drive-by shooting while off campus Tuesday night. Authorities say a gunman in an SUV fired into the apartment building where Butler was visiting with friends.
Prosecutors have charged 24-year-old Mark Orozco and 20-year-old Richard Van Arsdale with attempted first-degree murder. Both men are from DeKalb and appeared in DeKalb County court Thursday via closed-circuit television from the county jail.
They couldn't be reached for comment. It isn't clear if they have attorneys.
Butler is a junior from Pembroke Pines, Fla. He was in on 80 tackles -- second on the team -- and had 4 1/2 sacks.
NIU head coach Dave Doeren says the Huskie football team will return to practice on Saturday.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. )