It sounds like the Kansas State football team will have to wait at least another week before it gets some healthy reinforcements on the offensive line.
Christian Duffie, a 6-foot-5 and 300-pound senior right tackle, will likely miss his third straight game of the season with an injury when the Wildcats take on the Missouri Tigers at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Faurot Field.
K-State offensive coordinator Collin Klein shared a pessimistic update on Duffie when he was asked if the talented blocker will be ready to play.
“Probably not looking like that,” Klein said. “We will probably carry on as we have and kind of see where it goes.”
That is unfortunate news for the Wildcats, who badly missed Duffie on the right side of their offensive line in their first two games of the season.
Opposing teams have been able to pressure quarterback Will Howard from the right so regularly that K-State has moved All-American left guard Cooper Beebe to right tackle for long stretches.
That move has limited the team’s ability to run the ball between the tackles, which resulted in just 147 rushing yards against the Trojans.
K-State head coach Chris Klieman suggested earlier this week that there was a chance Duffie might be ready to play against Missouri. He has returned to practice and is getting closer to fully recovering from a foot/ankle injury, but he may need more time.
Carver Willis appears in line to start his third straight game at right tackle in his absence.
Klein did share some good injury news elsewhere on the K-State offense. It appears that wide receiver Keagan Johnson may be ready for more playing time.
Johnson, a 6-foot and 190-pound transfer from Iowa, missed the first game of the season with an injury and only saw limited action last week against Troy. But he did haul in three catches for 25 yards while he was on the field.
It won’t be a surprise if he is close to 100% this weekend.
“We’re hoping so,” Klein said. “He has had a good week. We really thought he turned a corner last week and we were hoping that held. It did and he was able to go in and when he did he made some huge plays for us. That third down (catch) in the red zone was huge for us. He almost got us in the end zone. We hope that continues, for sure.”