University of Arizona lost another player to a knee injury when sophomore cornerback Jonathan McKnight tore his anterior cruciate ligament after jumping for a pass and landing awkwardly, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
McKnight was expected to be a starter on defense after playing in all 13 games as a freshman.
“You feel very disappointed and sad for him, and for our team,” UA coach Mike Stoops told the Daily Star. “He’s a great leader for us and an outstanding football player.”
McKnight is the fifth player to go down to a knee injury since spring camp for the Wildcats. Sophomore Shaquille Richardson will start in place of McKnight.
Coach Mike Stoops had no explanation for all of the knee injuries, citing that there was no contact involved in “two or three” of the injuries and calling them “kinda freakish.”
Stoops said practices have not been changed in a way that would make football harder on the knees.
“There’s a fine line as coaches, how much you practice and how much you don’t,” Stoops told the paper.
Losing Mcknight is yet another significant blow to the Wildcats defense. Safety Adam Hall, linebacker Jake Fischer and defensive tackle Willie Mobley will all be out this season due to knee surgery.
The Wildcats expect to bring back Hall and Fischer by Oct. 20 for the home game against UCLA.
McKnight is expected to redshirt this season.