football Edit

Purdue loses linebacker Markus Bailey for the season with knee injury

MORE: Podcast on Markus Bailey injury | Defense must move on without Bailey

Purdue senior linebacker Markus Bailey has been lost for the season to a knee injury, Jeff Brohm said Wednesday.

News that the fifth-year senior suffered a season-ending non-contact knee injury in practice on Tuesday was a big blow for Purdue.

"I am not happy to report that yesterday in practice Markus Bailey sustained a knee injury and will be out the remainder of the season," Brohm said. "The next couple of weeks, he’ll have surgery. We want to support him in every way we can as he gets fully healed, which I know will happen. He has been a tremendous player for us, worked extremely hard this offseason to overcome a hip surgery that he got healed that made him miss spring ball and was getting ready to have a outstanding year. He played extremely well the first two games.

"It was a non-contact injury. It was really a lighter practice in helmets only. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll have to move forward and the next guy up will have to be ready to go. We have some guys at the linebacker position with some experience. And I expect them to play well."

The 6-1, 240-pound Bailey—who has made 40 career starts—was regarded as one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten. The co-captain and outside linebacker considered turning pro after last year but opted to return for a fifth season after undergoing hip surgery in the offseason that caused him to miss spring drills. The Columbus, Ohio, native is No. 2 on the team in tackles this season with 14. He leads the team with two TFLs and has a sack.

Who will take Bailey's spot?

"For sure, Cornel Jones is the next guy up," said Brohm. "Him and Ben Holt will be the two inside 'backers. Jaylan Alexander has experience for us. Kieren Douglas is a guy who hasn't played a lot for us at linebacker but went through all spring we think can be a pretty good player as well."

Jones was listed as the other starting outside linebacker, as well as the backup to Ben Holt at middle linebacker. Jaylan Alexander was listed as Jones’ backup.

Douglas is listed as Bailey’s backup on the most recent Purdue depth chart. He’s a 6-2, 220-pound native of Pickerington, Ohio. Douglas originally enrolled at Wake Forest in 2017 before matriculating to Purdue. He was on the team last season but didn’t play.

Could Bailey--who hurt a knee in 2015--petition for another year of eligibility?

"That will be up to Markus," said Brohm. "We want to support him and do whatever is best for him and his future without question that would be a possibility if he thinks that would fit him the best."

Purdue’s defense already has had to play without senior tackle Lorenzo Neal, one of its best players. He underwent knee surgery in the offseason after getting hurt in the finale at Indiana in 2018. The timetable for Neal's return keeps getting pushed back.

Purdue (1-1) plays host to TCU (1-0) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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