The Arizona State University defense was supposed to be a strength of the team heading into this season and if they had remained healthy they could have been one of the best in the country. The unit was dealt another blow this week with the announcement by football coach Dennis Erickson that DE Junior Onyeali needs surgery on his knee.
"He's having surgery Thursday for a meniscus tear,'' Erickson said on the Pac-12's weekly coaches teleconference. "The issue is where (the tear) is when they get in there. That's what they're dealing with right now. For sure, it's going to be six weeks and depending on where it's at, it could be a season-ending injury for him." - as reported by Doug Haller, AZ Central.com
Onyeali injured his knee early in the game against Illinois on Saturday. He was looking forward to a great season after being named Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year last season when he led the team in sacks. He shared his goals with SB Nation Arizona's Jose Romero before the season, "Get a lot more pressure on the QB and get better in the run this year."
The Sun Devils defense already lost CB Omar Bolden (ACL), LB Brandon Magee (Achilles) and DE James Brooks (transfer) before the season started.
Safety Eddie Elder also suffered a concussion on the Illinois game. His status for Saturday's Pac-12 conference opener with USC is still unknown.
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