It appeared that Mackey ended up on the ground on the play, and he came up grimmacing in pain. The wide reciever limped off by himself as two trainers rushed after him. At first it appeared to be either an ankle or knee injury. Trainers worked on Mackey for several minutes before he left the practice. Today, doctors discovered Mackey has a torn ACL in his knee. Willard said it was a complete tear in Mackey's left knee.
Willard said a surgery date had not yet been set, but expected it before the first day of classes, Aug. 22.
"The first 10 days are the worst (after surgery)," Willard said. "Then it's a lot of hard work."
Willard added that the plan was to have Mackey ready for spring ball. Willard said he expected Mackey to make a full recovery.
Mackey missed much of 2003 with an ankle injury, and some of this past spring with another injury. He had put in a good summer of work and was looking excellent in practice in August camp. News of the severity of the injury spread among his teammates Monday morning.
"(It) kind of made me sick to my stomach," senior receiver Evan Judge said about hearing his teammate was out for the season. "It's a tough deal. He's had a lot of bad luck, and it's a big blow for us and for him. Not a good day for our group.
"He worked really hard (over the summer). The main thing I saw during camp was his confidence was there. That's what's disappointing about it because he was playing very, very good football."
Mackey is the fastest of CU's receivers, and was a leading candidate for a starting spot.
"We all feel badly for Blake," Gary Barnett said in a released statement Monday morning. "He was having such a good camp thus far, and it's obviously a terrible thing to have happened. Now we have to be with him, help him through a difficult time and work with him to get him back for next season."
Judge said Mackey's absense means the other receivers will have to pick up the slack.
"The pressure increases for everybody," he said. "The expectations increase. The young guys have to step up, I have to step up."
One young guy who now may find himself at center stage in the CU passing game is redshirt frosh Patrick Williams. Mackey was looking to become a big-play threat. He led the team in receiving yards per catch last season. Of the other receivers, Williams, at 6-3, 190 pounds, most closeley resembles Mackey, in terms of size and speed.
Mackey redshirted his first season in Boulder. It is unclear if he will seek a medical redshirt for 2005.