Mississippi State WR Malik Dear has torn ACL

Dr. Saturday
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/252074/" data-ylk="slk:Malik Dear">Malik Dear</a> (22) was Mississippi State’s third-leading receiver in 2016. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Malik Dear (22) was Mississippi State’s third-leading receiver in 2016. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

One of the more versatile playmakers on Mississippi State’s offense went down with a serious injury this spring.

Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen confirmed Tuesday that junior Malik Dear suffered a torn ACL and will be out for a significant period of time. He was unsure of Dear’s availability for the 2017 season.

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“It will be a while before we know where he’s at and whether or not he’d be available this season,” Mullen said per the Clarion-Ledger. “I think it will be well into August before we have an idea.”

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With 23 catches for 264 yards and two scores, Dear was MSU’s third-leading receiver in 2016 behind Fred Ross and Donald Gray. Gray returns but Ross has moved on to the NFL, so the loss of Dear, who also has experience in the backfield and in the return game, is a fairly significant one.

Dear had 22 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns along with 11 rushes for 110 yards and a score in 2015 as a freshman.

With Dear sidelined, Gabe Myles and Jamal Couch could see increased roles. Keith Mixon, who plays primarily in the slot and had 19 catches for 228 yards in 2016, could also see more playing time. Mullen told reporters Tuesday that the young receivers “better improve quickly” in Dear’s absence.

MSU went 6-7 in 2016.

For more Mississippi State news, visit BulldogBlitz.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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