NC State’s Doeren updates status of CJ Riley
N.C. State receiver C.J. Riley will miss the rest of the season with a major knee injury, coach Dave Doeren announced on Monday.
Riley, a fourth-year junior, started for the Wolfpack in Saturday’s 34-6 win over East Carolina but did not have a catch.
He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while covering a punt at 1:18 in the first quarter. Riley, who was a regular on special teams last season, was running full speed down the field and tried to stop and tackle ECU return man Tyler Snead at the ECU 17-yard line.
Snead side-stepped Riley’s tackle and was able to pick up 12 yards. Riley immediately grabbed his left knee and remained on the ground for a few minutes after the play was over. He needed to be helped off of the field and did not return to the game.
Riley was expected to be one of the top receivers on the team this season. At 6-4, 211 pounds, he is a big target and useful in the red zone.
“He’ll have surgery and he’ll be back,” Doeren said Monday at his weekly press conference. “He has been through this before on his other knee. He is very upbeat.”
This is the second time Riley has suffered a major knee injury. He tore the ACL in his right knee in a summer workout before the 2016 season.
Riley had 28 catches for 315 yards with a pair of touchdowns last season. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash on the team in the offseason at 4.39 seconds and was primed for a larger role this season with the loss of 1,000-yard receivers Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers to the NFL.
“I appreciate all the prayers and well wishes,” Riley wrote on his Twitter account on Monday. “Nothing hurts me more than to know that I can’t be out there with my brothers but I know they are going to hold it down out there. My story is far from over and my comeback is just beginning. I’ll see y’all in 2020.”
Freshman Devin Carter is listed as the starter for Saturday’s game with Western Carolina in Riley’s place. Carter (6-4, 212 pounds) redshirted last year had a catch for 12 yards in the ECU win. Doeren was excited about the chance for Carter, who is from Clayton.
“Devin Carter is a guy that needs step up and seize this opportunity for us,” Doeren said. “He has a big body. He’s strong. He has been in that room with those guys and understands by watching last year’s crew and now what’s expected. He has a really good ability and size.”
Jasiah Provillon, Max Fisher and Tabari Hines will also be used to fill in for Riley.
“We just have to do a good job of using what everybody has to make up for what we lost,” Doeren said.
Riley is the second N.C. State player to be ruled out for the season. Senior left tackle Tyrone Riley (no relation) was ruled out with a foot injury before the opener.
Doeren has adopted a new policy this season of only talking about injuries when a player is ruled out for the season.