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Ole Miss loses WR D.K. Metcalf for the season due to neck injury

Ole Miss loses WR D.K. Metcalf for the season due to neck injury

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss won the game against Arkansas Saturday in Little Rock, but the Rebels lost a key player in the process as redshirt sophomore wide receiver D.K. Metcalf suffered a season-ending neck injury.

DK Metcalf (14) suffered a season-ending neck injury against Arkansas Saturday. (Photo: Dan Anderson)

At Monday’s weekly press conference, head coach Matt Luke announced the news, saying that Metcalf’s injury was first thought to be a neck sprain; however, an MRI on Sunday revealed the injury was far more serious.

“D.K. Metcalf hurt his neck. It’s a little more serious than we thought,” Luke explained.

He’ll be done for the season. Long term, he’s going to be fine. But I think it’s going to require surgery. We’re still looking to make sure we have the very best care and everything for him. But it’s not a long-term issue. But it is going to be one where he is done for the season.

Coach Matt Luke on D.K. Metcalf’s season-ending injury

Metcalf’s injury a huge loss for one of nation’s best offenses

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and DaMarkus Lodge combined to form what wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler calls the “Nasty Wide Outs” or NWO. The outstanding trio has helped place the Ole Miss offense at No. 3 three in the nation and No. 2 in the SEC.

D.K. Metcalf leads the Rebels with 5 TDs this season. (Photo: Dan Anderson)

Metcalf, a preseason All-SEC second team selection, currently sits at No. 3 in the SEC in receiving yards with 569, behind teammate A.J. Brown (650 yards), and he leads the Rebels with five touchdowns on the season. Metcalf has also been named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List for this year.

Last season, Metcalf started all 12 of Ole Miss’ games and notched 646 receiving yards and seven TDs on 39 receptions. The Oxford, Miss. native received a medical redshirt for 2016–his freshman campaign–following a broken foot he suffered against Woffard.

Offensive coordinator Phil Longo was obviously saddened with the loss of one of his key players, saying his first concern was about D.K.’s health. Once he was certain his receiver would be okay, Longo said he then turned his attention to what adjustments the Rebels’ offense will need to make.

You don’t replace a D.K. Metcalf, so we’re not going to try to. But we have a receiver corps who can get the job done.”

Offensive coordinator Phil Longo on Metcalf’s injury

In Metcalf’s absence, Coach Luke explained that Ole Miss will depend upon wide receivers Braylon Sanders and Elijah Moore.

“Braylon will step in there, and then you have Elijah,” Luke said. “You may be able to move A.J. around some and let Elijah and A.J. play at the same time. Braylon’s done well. He would normally be, if D.K. ran a deep route and came off, Braylon would go in. He’s the next guy that would step in there.”

Metcalf’s future

Metcalf is projected by most analysts to be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft this coming spring–meaning that unless he makes an unexpected decision to return next year, it is entirely possible Metcalf’s career at Ole Miss could be finished.

Coach Luke expressed sadness over Metcalf’s injury; however, he also indicated his receiver’s long term health is his primary concern.

In the grand scheme of things, long term, I think is what you have to look at, and I think he’s going to be fine.

Coach Luke on Metcalf’s future

Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

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