Lovie Smith, head football coach for the Illinois Fighting Illini, announced wide receiver Mike Dudek will miss his second season after the player tore his ACL for the second time. The announcement came on April 8, 2016, after Dudek’s injury, resulting from a non-contact drill during practice. After a promising freshman season, the wide receiver will miss his second straight year due to injury.
The wide receiver hails from Naperville, Illinois, and during his freshman year, he had a phenomenal season. In 2014, he caught a pass from 1,038 yards with 76 receptions, gaining his team six touchdowns.
The Fighting Illini’s have not had a winning season since 2007. In attempts to turn their football program around, the university hired Smith, former head coach of the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as Louisville’s offensive coordinator Garrick McGee. The Illini’s top receivers Malik Turner and Desmond Cain are both returning for the 2016 season but the teamed had hoped Dudek would lead them.
The tear to Dudek’s ACL will cause him to miss his second season after a promising start in 2014. This has been the second injury to the same knee. The first injury took him out of the 2015 season. The injury took place during the team’s second spring practice in pads.
By Harrison Baker
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Campus Sports: ILLINOIS WR MIKE DUDEK TEARS ACL AGAIN
Fightingillini.com: DUDEK TO MISS 2016 SEASON WITH TORN ACL
NBSSports: Illinois loses WR Mike Dudek to torn ACL for second straight year
Image Courtesy of Christopher Michel’s Flickr Page. Creative Commons License