Senior tight end Tyler Conklin undergoes foot surgery, no timetable for return
With kickoff approaching next week, Chippewa football fans will be missing enior tight end Tyler Conklin, who underwent surgery for a foot injury two weeks ago.
Conklin reportedly broke his foot in training camp and doctors currently have no timetable for his return. Head Coach John Bonamego didn't rule out Conklin returning to the field at some point this season.
“We’ll continue to listen to the medical professionals,” he said. “What’s most important now is Tyler’s health. Thankfully, this is a position where we have some depth. We're hoping for the best and planning for the worst."
Conklin, who transferred from Northwood University in 2015, broke out for the Chippewas with 42 receptions for 560 yards and six touchdowns in 2016. The Chesterfield native had two catches in the upset win at Oklahoma State and made national highlight reels with his one-handed catch against Ohio.
Conklin was expected to have an even bigger role this season in the new spread offense. He was named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list, given to the nation's top tight end.
Behind Conklin, CMU has senior Zach Crouch (21 career receptions) and juniors Logan Hessbrook and Jonathan Carson, who both got playing time in the spring game.
Bonamego praised local product hessbrook, an Ithaca High School standout, who started his college football career at Saginaw Valley State University before transferring to CMU.
"We're pleased with the progress (Hessbrook) has made as a player," Bonamego said. "Football is highly important to him. I want to surround myself with as many people who have the same passion for the game that I do (and) Hessbrook is undoubtedly one of those guys."
Central Michigan opens the season against Rhode Island at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.