The chances of Illinois receiver Mike Dudek returning to the field this season don’t look good.
During his weekly press conference on Monday, head coach Lovie Smith was asked about Dudek and whether or not the receiver would be able to return in 2017. Unfortunately, Smith didn’t sound too optimistic about that possibility.
“It’s not looking really good,” Smith said. “I mean, down to two games. We’ll see. Probably not, but we’ll see.”
Dudek suffered an internal injury against Wisconsin on Oct. 28. He was taken to the hospital at halftime of the game and remained there for the night. There has been no further explanation on the injury he sustained.
This is just more bad news for the receiver, who missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to ACL tears in spring practice. But instead of risking further injury with just two games remaining, the Illini may not even push to get Dudek back on the field this fall.
In seven games, Dudek has caught 24 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. He missed Illinois’ game against Minnesota due to a knee injury and has missed the last two games against Purdue and Indiana because of the most recent injury.
Even if Dudek is out for the remainder of the season, hopefully he’ll be healthy and ready for the 2018 campaign.