Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes is unlikely to participate in spring practice after suffering a broken left fibula in the Redbox Bowl.
Head coach Mark Dantonio referred to the injury as a “12-week deal” for Willekes, according to the Detroit Free Press. Michigan State lost a 7-6 contest to Oregon in the Redbox Bowl on Dec. 31. The Spartans’ spring football dates are still being determined.
Willekes announced earlier this month that he would return to East Lansing for his senior season. He was considered to be a candidate to pursue the 2019 NFL Draft at the end of the year.
Willekes was named the B1G Defensive Lineman of the Year and was an All-American selection after an incredible season on one of the best defenses in the country. The defensive end led the B1G in tackles for loss (20.5) and fifth in sacks (8.5). He registered 78 total tackles.
The Michigan State defense played at a championship level through most of the 2018 season. The Spartans’ owned the best run defense in the nation and ranked eighth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense. MSU finished the year 7-6.
A good chunk of Michigan State’s top defensive playmakers are returning in 2019, including Willekes, LB Joe Bachie, CB Josiah Scott, DB David Dowell and DL Raequan Williams.