Arizona Wildcat Juron Criner will not play in Thursday's game against the No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys, according to Anthony Gimino. Criner has been dealing with an undisclosed illness all week and was questionable for Thursday's game.
The loss of Criner, Arizona's best receiver, is a big one for the Wildcats. He made several big plays for the team last season, amassing 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns on 82 receptions last year. He was quarterback Nick Foles' favorite target last season and the two wrecked havoc on other teams all season through the air.
Criner spent the night at a local Tucson hospital earlier this week, according to Fox 11 Sports. He was initially expected to travel with the team to Oklahoma after missing practice on Monday and Tuesday, but this news indicates that his unknown illness could be more serious than initially perceived. He did not travel with the Wildcats on Wednesday.
Hopefully Criner's ailment gets healed in the near future and he's able to get back on track. It would be a shame to see a good athlete get derailed during his senior campaign in this way.
Arizona Desert Swarm explains how the team might cover for this loss:
Ill Juron Criner won't play at Oklahoma State, reports say -
For the short term, this means guys like Dan Buckner will need to step up. Other receivers will have the opportunity to shine, and though it's Buckner with the most potential to do so, that doesn't mean someone else won't take advantage. Sliding into the rotations could be Gino Crump and Austin Hill, who could compliment David Roberts, David Douglas, Richard Morrison and Buckner.