A slow-starting performance against Western Michigan became more disheartening and frustrating as star Iowa tight end Luke Lachey went down with an injury in the first quarter.
On a 3rd-and-3 snap, Hawkeye quarterback Cade McNamara targeted Lachey. The pass fell incomplete as Tate Hallock was covering. In the process, Lachey’s lower right leg was twisted up.
It looked and felt serious in the moment as Lachey stayed on the Kinnick Stadium turf for an extended period of time. Then, he exited Duke Slater Field without putting weight on his right leg.
When Lachey returned later, the 6-foot-6, 253 pound tight end was wearing a boot on his lower right leg.
After the Hawkeyes had put the finishing touches on their 41-10 win over Western Michigan, Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz updated Lachey’s status.
Kirk Ferentz offers injury updates on Lachey, Johnson, and Patterson. pic.twitter.com/AFkpAX8PfO
— Tom Kakert (@HawkeyeReport) September 17, 2023
“Unfortunately, I hate to lose Luke to an injury. It’s fairly significant, so we’ll know more about that in a couple days. They’re assessing that,” Ferentz said.
Lachey already had 10 receptions for 131 yards this season. The Columbus, Ohio, product reeled in 28 grabs for 398 yards and a team-high four receiving touchdowns in 2022.
As Iowa waits to learn more about the extent of Lachey’s injury, Ferentz shared his disappointment to see a player like Lachey potentially losing his opportunity at a healthy 2023 season.
“At least we have some depth there. We do. The thing about injuries is just, as I’ve said a million times, it’s just guys work so hard to get out there in the field like that. Everything is focused on these 12 games, and the guys put a lot into it.
“To have them have opportunities stripped because of injuries, but it’s part of the game, too. So we all understand how that works, but, yeah, it’s disappointing. There’s not a better guy in our program than Luke Lachey. He’s just such a good young guy. Keep our fingers crossed,” Ferentz said.
McNamara was likewise downtrodden to see his teammate exit the way that Lachey did.
“I mean, we don’t know exactly what it is yet, but when one of your brothers goes down like that, it’s horrible to see. We’re all going to be praying for him, and it’s just tough seeing your boy do that, honestly,” McNamara said.
Ferentz provided injury updates on running backs Kaleb Johnson and Jaziun Patterson as well.
“Kaleb’s got an ankle. Got it at the end of the game last week, it didn’t respond. We’ll take it week-by-week, day-by-day. Jaziun had a little bit of a tweak as well. Obviously, we thought he was going to go today, but tweaked it a little bit during the game. I don’t think it’s real significant. We’ll know more in a couple of days,” Ferentz said.
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