Sykes to miss season; Knight, Philyor out for start of camp

Indiana will be dealing with injuries to its offensive and defensive lines when it opens fall camp on Wednesday morning.

Redshirt junior defensive lineman Nile Sykes will miss the season and junior right tackle Brandon Knight will miss at least a chunk of this month’s camp, IU coach Tom Allen announced Tuesday. The nature of the injuries was not specified.

Incoming freshman receiver Whop Philyor will also miss at least part of camp with an injury.

Losing Sykes is a blow to Indiana’s depth on the defensive line, where Sykes emerged as a nice rotational player in 2016. He appeared in all 13 games and made his first career start in the win over Purdue, finishing the season with 18 solo tackles, five sacks and seven tackles for loss.

Sykes was second on the team in sacks and fourth in tackles for loss. His injury is expected to open an opportunity for sophomore Allen Stallings to see more time.

Sykes, who suffered his injury late in summer workouts, has already undergone surgery. He was listed as a backup to Greg Gooch on Indiana’s preseason depth chart, but was still expected to occupy a significant role on IU’s defensive line this fall.

“I hurt for him,” Allen said. “He’s worked extremely hard. But as we just talked yesterday, he’s excited about getting himself back and working hard and getting ready for his next season. That’s our mindset here. We don’t blink. We understand that sometimes life’s not fair. You just got to respond.”

Knight’s situation is a bit more fluid. Allen said “the hope” is to have Knight back on the practice field at some point leading into IU’s season opener against Ohio State on Aug. 31.

The Noblesville native played the first eight games last season, starting six at right tackle until a leg injury sidelined him down the stretch.

Allen says redshirt freshman Grayson Stover is among the players who will be expected to make up for Knight’s absence. Redshirt junior Delroy Baker and redshirt sophomore DaVondre Love should also receive opportunities to fill in.

“We have the charge to be able to develop depth,” Allen said. “That’s one thing that happens. Like it or not, it happens wherever somebody is sidelined for whatever period of time that may be, that the guys behind him are forced to respond.”


  1. WOW!! Depth will be very important for this team (esp on the offensive and defense line) and in the future…my hearts goes out to these young man….hopefully everything works out okay for these young man and they can continue their football careers….personally as a fan was expecting big thing from Nile Sykes and Brandon Knight this year….but now I believe that Brandon Knight body needs a rest…minor injuries have continue (consistently) to plague him since his freshman year…It (depth) all goes back to how well you can recruit, to have the able bodies (personnel) to replace injured players.

  2. T.A. explained it well. This is noticeable at IU and it happens almost every year. IU fb is a fragile program. Example last year; I remember one week many were excited about how deep IU was at wide receiver and excited about that area of game. The next week injury and then S. Cobbs goes down and all of a sudden IU is not so deep at that position anymore. Indiana depth at QB a few years ago. A couple transfers and injury left IU looking for QB. Thank You A. Diamont. Fragile.

  3. I know these guys work really hard in the off-season, especially as summer camp approaches. Maybe they should be a little more cautious and design workouts that avoid activities that can cause season-ending injuries before summer camp begins! They haven’t even started hitting yet and a key defender is lost for the season. When the full contact drills begin, you understand such injuries are going to happen. But to lose a guy for the season as a result of a conditioning workout seems most unfortunate. I feel terrible for Mr. Sykes and hope he comes back better and stronger. Stay strong Nile.

    1. Doing FB workouts, drills and other corresponding position and conditioning reps. Its football.

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