Illinois tight end Tyler White is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, Bill Cubit said on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday.
White, a junior who had five catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns this season, suffered the injury during Saturday's 24-13 loss to Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium and had an MRI on Monday that confirmed the tear. White hadn't caught a pass since the third game of the season and missed the Week 4 game against Middle Tennessee with a concussion.
The Illini (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) are extremely thin at tight end. Senior H-Back Tim Clary, one of the team's best lead blocker, returned to play on Saturday but has a club over his injured right hand, severely limiting his catching ability. Cubit has said that JUCO transfer Andrew Davis, the next tight end on the depth chart, hasn't earned the staff's trust during practice yet.
Injuries have ravaged the Illinois skill positions. The Illini will likely again be without three of their top running backs for Saturday's game at Penn State.
Cubit called senior starter Josh Ferguson (shoulder) "very, very doubtful, at best." He has missed most of the last three games with an AC sprain, suffered during the Big Ten opener against Nebraska. Freshmen running backs Dre Brown (torn ACL) and Reggie Corbin (torn labrum) were forced to redshirt the season due to offseason injuries.
One piece of good injuries news, starting wide receiver Marchie Murdock (20 catches, 194 yards) is expected back after missing most of the last two games with a deep thigh bruise.