Posted by Tom Fornelli
Last season was a breakout year for Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith . Smith finished his junior season with 91 receptions for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns and was placed on the 2010 Biletnikoff Award watch list for the top receiver in the country this year. Though the way things are sounding in West Lafayette, there may not be many more chances to watch Smith play in 2010.
The senior receiver left Purdue's 31-21 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday during the fourth quarter after taking a hit to his right knee while being tackled. He'd later appear on the sidelines with crutches in tow. As for the severity of the knee injury, nobody will know for sure until Smith undergoes an MRI in the next couple of days, but his head coach Danny Hope isn't, well, he isn't very hopeful .
“We'll have to move on and get other guys ready to play,” Hope said. “That's why we recruit. It's why we work 80 to 100 hours a week and why we go at it all the time working hard to bring in the next good player to develop to get ready to play.”
It's known for a fact that Smith won't be playing this weekend against Ball State, as he isn't listed on Purdue's depth chart .
If Smith is lost for an extended period of time -- and there's some belief that his season may be over -- it's a big blow to a Purdue offense that had already lost their top running back, Ralph Bolden , to a torn ACL. Smith had been proving to be Robert Marve 's favorite target through the first two games of the season, making 18 catches for 123 yards.
UPDATE: Hope's pessimism was confirmed on Tuesday when the school announced that Smith had torn both his ACL and MCL and will miss the rest of the 2010 season.