Iowa tight end suffers setback, will miss Rose Bowl
Jake Duzey had his sights set on a return. The Iowa tight end had hopes of making his first catch of his injury plagued senior year in the Rose Bowl.
Unfortunately for Duzey, that won’t happen.
Iowa sent out a release on Sunday saying that Duzey, who tore his patella tendon in the spring, suffered a setback during Friday’s practice and will be inactive for the Rose Bowl against Stanford on Jan. 1.
“We all feel badly for Jake and the fact that this injury will keep him from playing in the game,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. “Jake has worked extremely hard since his initial injury in the spring, and has contributed to the success of our season in a number of ways.”
Duzey was the top returning pass-catcher among B1G tight ends entering 2015, but he was bothered all year by the spring injury. He played in nine games as a blocking tight end while his position mates thrived in their new roles.
George Kittle and Henry Krieger Coble became one of the conference’s top pass-catching duos and combined for 52 catches, 675 yards and seven touchdowns.
Duzey told the Quad City Times that he enjoyed getting the opportunity to help them grow into focal points of the offense.
“It’s been awesome to watch what those guys have done and how things have gone for the team. It’s been a great year,’’ Duzey said. “All the work that everybody put into it during the offseason has paid off. I’ve been there to help them as much as I can.’’
While Duzey will be relegated to the sideline for the New Year’s Day showdown, it remains to be seen if it marks the end of his Iowa career. Having not caught a pass and basically serving as the third tight end, he could possibly receive a medical redshirt. Kirk Ferentz also said he believes the Michigan native is an NFL prospect.
Whatever Duzey’s next move is, it’s unfortunate that his last move couldn’t be at the Rose Bowl in front of 90,000 people.