The 2014 season might be in jeopardy for one of Utah 's best pass rushers after a major knee injury suffered in practice last week.
Kyle Whittingham announced Saturday that senior linebacker Jacoby Hale had torn an ACL and MCL during practice Thursday. The Texas native finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks -- in only nine games -- in 2013.
Per the Salt Lake Tribune, Whittingham estimated Hale's recovery time at anywhere from four to seven months, with the latter more common. A seven-month timetable would put Hale back on the field in October.
In the event he could not return for the 2014 season, Hale would need a medical hardship waiver after redshirting in 2010.
Whittingham and Utes supporters will be hoping -- perhaps desperately -- that won't be necessary. If Hale is out, the Utes will have lost their top three pass-rushers from 2013, with no returning player boasting more than three sacks last season.
The Utes aren't shy of linebackers, at least (Hale finished 10th in overall tackles). But if Hale can't return in time or isn't fully recovered, his explosiveness could be badly missed.