Ole Miss loses WR D.K. Metcalf to season-ending neck injury

One of the SEC’s best wide receivers suffered a season-ending injury on Saturday.

D.K. Metcalf, a redshirt sophomore for Ole Miss, suffered a neck injury in Saturday’s win over Arkansas that will sideline him for the rest of the 2018 season, Rebels coach Matt Luke said Monday.

“D.K. Metcalf hurt his neck. It is a little more serious than we originally thought,” Luke said. “He’ll be done for the season.”

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Luke said Metcalf’s injury, which happened in the first half, may require surgery but the long-term prognosis for recovery is positive. Luke also clarified that Metcalf did not suffer a spinal injury.

“Long-term he’s going to be fine. I think it’s going to require surgery. We’re still looking to make sure that we have the very best care and everything for him. It’s not a long-term issue, but it is one where he’ll be done for the season,” Luke said.

Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is third in the SEC in receiving yards (569). (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is third in the SEC in receiving yards (569). (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

Metcalf is one of the top big-play threats in the SEC

Through seven games, Metcalf had 26 receptions and five touchdowns while ranking third in the SEC in receiving yards (569) and yards per catch (21.9). He formed one of the top pass-catching duos in the country alongside A.J. Brown (50 catches, 650 yards, 4 TDs).

With Metcalf sidelined, Luke said sophomore Braylon Sanders (12 catches for 247 yards) and freshman Elijah Moore (11 catches for 157 yards) will be in line for increased playing time while Brown starts in the slot.

Metcalf is eligible for the 2019 NFL draft

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Metcalf arrived on campus in 2016 as a top-100 recruit. He made an immediate impact with a touchdown catch in each of his first two games before going down with a broken foot. After being granted a medical redshirt for 2016, he earned SEC All-Freshman honors in 2017 when he caught 39 passes for 646 yards and seven touchdowns.

Since he is three years removed from high school, Metcalf is eligible to declare for the 2019 NFL draft. If he opts to stay in school, he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Meanwhile, Ole Miss, now 5-2 but ineligible for bowl play, hosts struggling Auburn this weekend.

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