Baylor DE K.J. Smith still working back from leg injury

Baylor defensive end K.J. Smith was listed as out for the second game of the year with shin splints. However, Smith has not played a game since then.

“They were shin splints that were moving towards stress fractures,” head coach Matt Rhule said. “We’re being really tentative and keeping him off his feet so that they don’t get worse.”

Smith has not been participating in workouts and is staying off his feet to prevent the shin injuries from getting worse. However, his presence has been sorely missed. Smith was the consensus most dynamic player on the defense coming into the year.

The senior is one of several injuries along the defensive line this season. Baylor now has five underclassmen listed on the defensive line two-deep. Only two were listed on the preseason depth chart, but Smith, Jamie Jacobs ( neck and shoulder) and Xavier Jones ( leg) all got hurt.

Rhule thinks Smith will be back this season, saying he could be back in the next three weeks. However, he wasn’t confident.

“It’s what I’ve been told, but you never know with some of these medical things,” Rhule said. “The last thing we want to do is jeopardize his future in any way.”

Smith was an All-Big 12 First Team performer in 2016 after posting 67 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss and 7 sacks for the Bears. The redshirt senior ranks ninth on Baylor’s all-time sack list with 12.0 sacks. He has started 24 games at both end and tackle.

Smith could be eligible for a medical redshirt if he does not play again this season.

The post Baylor DE K.J. Smith still working back from leg injury appeared first on Diehards.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.