Saturday was a good day for the Ole Miss Rebels, who capped off a come-from-behind victory over Arkansas with a Scottie Phillips touchdown with less than a minute remaining. The Rebels improved to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference with Auburn coming to town this weekend.
One thing was missing on the War Memorial Stadium turf for that game-winning drive. D.K. Metcalf stood on the sidelines sans shoulder pads with a towel draped over his head, having suffered a neck injury early in the first quarter.
Matt Luke confirmed Rebels fans’ worst feat during his Monday news conference: Metcalf will need surgery and will miss the rest of the 2018 season.
“[He] hurt his neck, and it’s worse than we originally thought,” Luke said. “He’ll be done for the season. Long-term, he’ll bounce back and he’ll be fine. We’ll make sure he gets the very best care.”
The absurd depth of Ole Miss’ receiving corps means it should be fine without Metcalf, but this is still a significant blow. The Oxford native was having a breakout redshirt sophomore year and was almost certainly going to forego his junior and senior seasons for the NFL Draft.
The good news is this, D.K. will be fine after surgery and this shouldn’t hamper his future career.
Luke said Metcalf will be fine long term, but he will likely need surgery. Luke said it was very disappointing for Metcalf.— Neal McCready (@NealMcCready) October 15, 2018
Metcalf has been a mainstay in the offense since signing with Ole Miss in 2016 when he arrived as part of that vaunted No. 5-ranked recruiting class. He’s a matchup nightmare and has sneaky home run speed and a terrifying frame. He’s currently the SEC’s third leading receiver, having hauled in 26 receptions for 569 yards and five touchdowns, averaging a whopping 21.7 yards per reception.
This is where Ole Miss can really brag about it’s abundance of riches. The wideouts boast a ridiculous amount of blue-chip talent. And it will be on them to pick up quarterback Jordan Ta’amu in Metcalf’s absence.
- 4-star DaMarkus Lodge (35 catches, 466 yards, 2 TD)
- 4-star A.J. Brown (50 catches, 650 yards, 4 TD)
- 4-star Elijah Moore (11 catches, 157 yards, 2 TD)
- 4-star Miles Battle (1 catch, 12 yards)
- 3-star Braylon Sanders (12 catches, 247 yards, 1 TD)
Battle could potentially see his role increase, though he could be on his way to a redshirt year. I would look for Moore’s role in the offense to grow as he has shown an ability to get open and find the soft spots in defense’s zone coverage. The load for tight ends Dawson Knox and Octavious Cooley, who both broke out against Arkansas, could also increase.