Posted by Chip Patterson
Things have gone from bad to worse for Arizona head coach Mike Stoops as he looks at his injury report. Five Wildcats have suffered torn ACLs since the spring, including three defensive starters. The most recent to fall was cornerback/kick returner Jonathan McKnight, who suffered the injury in Wednesday's practice and is out for the season.
"It's disappointing for Jonathan," Stoops told the Tuscon Citizen. "He's a terrific player and he had a great camp. It is just one those things. We feel very disappointed and sad for him and our team. He's a great leader for us and an outstanding football player."
Secondary coach Ryan Walters informed the media that sophomore Shaquille Richardson, previously positioned as a nickel-back, will take over McKnight's starting corner role. The talented sophomore, and younger brother of New York Jet Joe McKnight, injured his knee landing after going up for a ball.
"It's very frustrating, but it's part of the game," Stoops said in regards to the multiple ACL injuries. "To get a guy hurt in non-contact is kind of freakish, but we've had two or three like that. It's just very unfortunate."
The Wildcats are expected to get two of the five ACL-related injured players, safety Adam Hall adnd linebacker Jake Fischer, back this season. Possibly as soon as early October, according to Stoops. Already only returning 10 starters, it looks like 2011 will be a year of rebuilding for the Wildcats.