Dan Mullen on Tuesday confirmed what many Mississippi State fans had suspected– Bulldogs WR Malik Dear tore his ACL during spring practice and underwent surgery.
And while that’s bad news, Mullen left a glimmer of hope out there for Bulldogs fans by not completely ruling Dear out for the 2017 football season after the major repair.
According to a report from The Clarion-Ledger’s Will Sammon, Mullen is reserving judgement on that decision until August.
“It will be a while before we know where he’s at and whether or not he’d be available this season,” Mullen said on Tuesday evening, per Sammon. “I think it will be well into August before we have an idea.”
Dear was a versatile playmaker for the Bulldogs in 2016, hauling in 23 receptions for 264 yards and two scores while also rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown.
While Mississippi State fans will keep their fingers crossed that Dear is a quick healer and will be ready to contribute at some point this fall, there’s a very good chance that he may be asked to take a redshirt to get to 100 percent. Dear played as a true freshman in 2015, which leaves him with the ability to miss a season in 2017 and retain two more years of eligibility moving forward.