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Nevada WR Elijah Cooks (foot) suffers second season-ending injury in as many years

Elijah Cooks
Wide receiver Elijah Cooks catches a pass in the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. (Loren Orr/Getty Images)

For a second straight year, an injury has cut Elijah Cooks' season short.

The Wolf Pack' standout wide receiver suffered a foot injury against Kansas State and will not play again this season.

"Elijah Cooks is going to be done for the season," Nevada head coach Jay Norvell said during his Monday news conference. "He suffered a Lisfranc foot injury in this last ball game. So we will not have Elijah. Cookie's been a great player for us. Just really tough, tough luck. Last year, he hurt his shoulder in the first game, and then this year he's playing so well. And so I just feel for Cookie. He does have another year eligibility, and that's something that he'll have to evaluate and we'll talk about it. And we obviously would love to have him back. But at this time, we just feel for him."

Cooks, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the 2020 opener, was leading Nevada with four touchdown catches this season. He had 13 receptions for 157 yards in the Wolf Pack's first three games and was viewed as a potential NFL player. A fifth-year senior, the 6-foot-4 Cooks has 115 catches for 1,478 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career. His breakout season came in 2019 when he caught 76 balls for 926 yards and eight touchdowns and was named second-team All-MW.

If there is a position Nevada is deep enough to withstand a major injury, it's receiver where the Wolf Pack has star wideout Romeo Doubs as well as Melquan Stovall, Tory Horton and Justin Lockhart, who all have starting experience. Horton is expected to step into Cooks' starting spot.

"He's going to have to step up and be an important player for us," Norvell said of Horton. "And not only him, but Lockhart and and Harry Ballard and the rest of our receivers. We have good players there. We have guys that have played. And it's going to have to be a group effort with everybody stepping up in Cookie's absence."

Additionally, Nevada will be without starting strong safety Tyson Williams on Saturday at Boise State. Williams injured his knee on the second offensive play of the game against Kansas State, a 68-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Imatorbhebhe in which Williams tried to run Imatorbhebhe down. Williams is one of the Wolf Pack's most experienced players with 26 starts, the second most on the defense behind Dom Peterson (31). Williams is expected to be out multiple weeks.

Williams had 167 tackles and three interceptions in 32 games at Nevada. Jordan Lee, who has six career starts, is expected to start in Williams' place.

"Tyson is really a physical player, and he really sacrifices for his teammates the way he plays," Norvell said. "We're going to miss Tyson's experience and leadership. Fortunately, Jordan has done a really good job for us. We have a lot of confidence in Jordan. And he's also experienced. Him along with JoJuan Claiborne back there, those guys play good, solid defense for us and get us lined up. But we will miss Tyson. We should get him back. He had a knee strain and hopefully in the next three or four weeks, we'll be able to get him back on the field."

A third Wolf Pack starter, right guard Drew Cannon, also will miss the Boise State game. Cannon is returning from a knee injury suffered in Nevada's season opener at Cal and is not ready to return quite yet.

"Andrew is still a week or so away and we're going to start working him into practice," Norvell said. "But he's not quite ready for primetime yet. But we're also hopeful we're going to get him back for the bulk of the Mountain West schedule."

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