University of Miami

UM receiver Evidence Njoku sustains season-ending knee injury

Wide receiver Evidence Njoku is shown during drills on the fourth day of University of Miami football camp at Greentree Field on Friday, August 4, 2017.
Wide receiver Evidence Njoku is shown during drills on the fourth day of University of Miami football camp at Greentree Field on Friday, August 4, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one to a name known well to Hurricanes fans.

Freshman receiver Evidence Njoku, the younger brother of former UM first-round NFL draft pick David Njoku, sustained a right-knee injury during Tuesday’s practice.

“Evidence Njoku sustained a lower-right extremity injury and is out for the season,’’ a UM spokesman told the Miami Herald on Wednesday afternoon.

The injury was first reported by CanesInSight.com, which cited sources saying that “the fear is that Njoku suffered a torn ACL on the same left knee that he hyperextended during fall camp.’’

However, UM, which did not specifically say it was the knee or a torn ACL that Njoku sustained, confirmed that the injury was on the right side.

The Hurricanes previously lost star running back Mark Walton, who sustained a season-ending ankle injury. UM also lost linebacker Jamie Gordinier earlier this season with an ACL tear.

Media viewing for practices is limited to two early sessions, including stretching, of a combined 15 minutes or so. UM coach Mark Richt declined comment after practice when asked by the Herald if Njoku had sustained the injury.

Njoku has not played this season, and it was expected that he would be redshirted, meaning that he would have four seasons of eligibility remaining after this one. If he has an ACL injury, that would mean that he’d be rehabilitating for several months, likely setting him back next season.

Njoku, 6-6 and 196 pounds, was a consensus three-star prospect out of Cedar Grove, N.J. He spent three seasons at Cedar Grove High before transferring his senior year to Wayne Hills high. He caught 27 passes for 415 yards and eight touchdowns his last high school season.

The first week of fall camp, Njoku had a protective-type, flexible brace on his right knee, and he was full-go, at times leaping high, like his tight end older brother, and making nice catches.

Then, on Aug. 7, he came out to practice with a large metal brace on his left knee, which turned out to be a “hyperextended knee,’’ according to coach Mark Richt. “He’s day-to-day. No surgery,’’ Richt said that day in early August.

Big brother David Njoku, who now plays for the Cleveland Browns, left UM after his redshirt sophomore season to enter the NFL.

Eighth-ranked UM (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), preparing for Syracuse (4-3, 2-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, already has been hit with some significant injuries this season, including Mark Walton’s season-ending ankle injury. Cornerback Dee Delaney (knee) and guard Navaughn Donaldson (ankle) are still out this week recuperating from ailments.

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