The Miami Hurricanes have been no stranger to the injury bug this season. Last week alone, 5 starters were missing against Georgia Tech, including star RB Mark Walton, out for the season after an ankle injury. Mike Pinckney would also leave the GT game with a strained chest.
Well, consider the injury bug to have bitten again.
According to the Herald’s Susan Miller Degnan, sources close to the program confirmed true freshman WR Evidence Njoku, the younger brother of 2017 NFL first round draft pick and former Miami TE David Njoku, sustained a season-ending knee injury at practice on Tuesday.
BREAKING: UM receiver Evidence Njoku sustains season-ending knee injury. https://t.co/NeUXTOWh6A @HeraldSports pic.twitter.com/p2AaR54oGp— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) October 18, 2017
Njoku, considered a 3-star talent out of Wayne Hills HS in Cedar Grove, NJ, previously missed some time back in fall camp due to a hyperextended left knee. While UM did not say if the injury was an ACL tear, they did confirm it was to the right knee, not the left knee that gave Njoku trouble earlier this season.
While Njoku was expected to redshirt this season anyways in order to better learn the game and build up his body, any type of significant knee injury could effect his development and availability for 2018.
At 6’6, Njoku is a big-bodied receiver and knee injuries tend to be tougher on the bigger guys. One only needs to look at 6’5 Lawrence Cager this season to understand the difficulties of a taller receiver coming off a significant knee injury.
Cager, who tore his ACL in the summer of 2016 and missed all of last season, was expected to be one of Miami’s leading receivers this season. While the season’s only halfway done, those expectations have yet to materialize, as Cager has been slow to get fully comfortable on the field and still has soreness from time to time. And his injury took place back in June, not October like Njoku’s.
While it is true every player’s body recovers and responds to rehab differently, we’d hate to see a scenario where the extremely talented younger Njoku has his development stunted by this injury, because let’s be honest: David is the living example of the ceiling here and the two are very similar athletically.
Here’s to a speedy recovery for Evidence Njoku and hopefully we will see him at full strength in time for the 2018 season.