Iowa standout cornerback Cooper DeJean will miss the rest of the season with a lower leg injury, coach Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday night.
DeJean was a member of The Associated Press midseason All-America team and a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the top defensive player in the nation. The junior was injured in a practice this week.
“This is truly heartbreaking for Cooper,” Ferentz said. “He has played extremely well and is a real playmaker on our team. We will all support Cooper during his recovery, which will continue into the new year.”
DeJean played nearly 400 snaps in coverage this season without giving up a touchdown. He leads the Hawkeyes with five pass breakups and is second with two interceptions.
He leads the Big Ten with an 11.5-yard punt return average and scored the winning touchdown against Michigan State with a 70-yard return late in the game.
The Hawkeyes are 8-2 and atop the Big Ten West with a 5-2 conference record. Iowa’s strength is its defense, which ranks third in the nation, allowing just 12.3 points per game.
They play host to Illinois on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app).
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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