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Shea Patterson is out for the year with a knee injury

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Next man up.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss’ 2017 campaign took a disastrous turn this morning, with MRI results indicating that Shea Patterson tore the PCL in his right knee during the LSU game in Oxford last night, first reported by David Johnson from 247Sports. Patterson came up limping after what appeared to be a routine pass in the 2nd quarter; there did not appear to be any significant contact on the play.

After consulting with coaches, trainers, and family, Patterson re-entered the game in a heavy-duty knee brace for the second half of play, but the injury seemed to bother him significantly at times.

Johnson also reports that Patterson will wear a cast for a few weeks to see if the ligament will heal itself, or if surgery will be necessary.

The loss of Patterson is a huge blow in what could be considered a 2nd consecutive “lost season” for the Rebels. Patterson had been a ray of hope as Ole Miss tried to weather a never-ending NCAA investigation, the firing of Hugh Freeze in July, a comically undermanned defense, and now a lame duck coaching staff.

All things considered, Patterson has been a bright spot on a team that is a nightmare on defense and sitting at 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play. He is the nation’s 12th leading passer at the time of writing and leads the Southeastern Conference in yardage with 2259 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.

Patterson’s backup Jordan Ta’amu played admirably in a tough situation, going 7-for-11 through the air for 78 yards, and adding three nice rushes for 20 yards. He showed considerable poise in leading a field goal drive at the end of the first half, and a 66-yard touchdown drive with a two point conversion in the game’s closing minutes.

The 6’2, 212-pounder from Pearl City, Hawaii looked more than capable of taking Longo Ball now that The Chef has had his license suspended by the health inspector. Despite no postseason play and an impending coaching search that will ultimately bring sweeping changes, Jordan could add some excitement to these last five games with his skill set as an accurate passer and incredibly shifty runner in the open field.

Ta’amu is a former three-star recruit from New Mexico Military Institute who was ranked the No. 4 JUCO dual-threat quarterback prospect in the country. In his final year there, he threw for 3,014 yards and 32 touchdowns while also adding 328 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He ultimately chose the Rebs over offers from Minnesota and Southern Miss.