Illini football had a mostly positive Saturday when they defeated Akron 42-3 to open the 2019 season. However, there was a bit of a scare when junior running back Mike Epstein was carted off the field with a knee injury. Head coach Lovie Smith met the media today for his weekly press conference and announced that Epstein would miss the entire 2019 season due to that knee injury.
Epstein recorded 45 rushing yards, which led the team at the time, before exiting on the cart. Though Rod Smith has a number of different backs he likes to use, Epstein’s injury will certainly dampen the Illini rushing attack. The former top-100 back was set to be one of the mainstays in the offensive backfield along with senior Reggie Corbin.
This is yet another case of the injury bug biting the Illini where it especially hurts. Bobby Roundtree and Marquez Beason suffered injuries before the season that impacted the defense, and now the offense takes a hit with the loss of Epstein.
Featured Photo: Mike Granse/USA TODAY Sports