Arizona Wildcats defensive end Justin Belknap has a broken foot and could miss the rest of the season. The news was first reported by Tucson News Now’s David Kelly and later confirmed by Michael Lev of the Arizona Daily Star.
Lev is reporting Belknap got hurt Thusday, is having surgery Monday and will be out 8-12 weeks.
The Star has confirmed that Arizona DE Justin Belknap has a broken foot. Got hurt Thursday. Surgery Monday. Timetable 8-12 weeks, so could miss rest of season. First reportedy by @DavidKellyTNN— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) September 15, 2018
The former walk-on started 11 games last season and has started both games this year as the Wildcats have staggered to an 0-2 start.
Belknap has four tackles and one quarterback hit in 106 snaps. Pro Football Focus gives the redshirt junior a player grade of 53.3, the lowest among Arizona’s starters. Last season, Belknap totaled 23 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Sophomore JB Brown is listed as Belknap’s backup. He has one tackle in 45 snaps. PFF gives him a 53.9 grade.
Arizona’s defense, which has struggled mightily this year, was already dealing with injuries up front. Junior college transfer PJ Johnson missed last week’s game with a leg injury and defensive tackle Dereck Boles exited with an injury, though head coach Kevin Sumlin said earlier in the week that he expects Boles to available Saturday against Southern Utah. Johnson’s status is less clear.
Belknap has already used a redshirt year, but he may be able to get another year tacked with a hardship waiver. If you recall, J.J. Taylor appeared in four games as a true freshman but got an extra year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending ankle injury against Washington.