CHAMPAIGN — Illinois head coach Lovie Smith announced Tuesday that junior wide receiver Ricky Smalling had season-ending knee surgery.
Smalling is second on the team with 24 receptions and third with 225 receiving yards. A staple in the Illinois offense for three years, Smalling snapped a streak of 28 straight games with a reception when he was injured on the first play of the game Oct. 19 against Wisconsin.He has missed the last three games.
“Ricky Smalling had knee surgery," Smith said. "His season has ended this year. He’s already on the road to recovery, but Ricky won’t be playing anymore football this year for us."
Smalling has totaled 88 receptions for 1,141 yards and eight touchdowns during his career.
In his absence, the Illini will likely rely on the continued production of leading receiver, Josh Imatorbhebhe. Freshman Casey Washington has started in Smalling's place and junior slot receiver Donny Navarro, who was recently put on scholarship, has had productive games.
Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
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