Sad news indeed. Official word out of Penn State is that Jerome Hayes tore his ACL against Wisconsin.
A redshirt sophomore, Hayes tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a play in the third quarter, according to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State Director of Athletic Medicine. Hayes will have surgery within the next two weeks and rehabilitation will take approximately nine months, according to Sebastianelli.
This hurts. Hayes was making a solid contribution this year with 17 tackles, 3 TFL, and 2.5 sacks. He will undoubtedly miss the rest of the year and probably all of spring practice as well. You have to figure he was one of the leading candidates to replace Dan Connor at linebacker next year too, so this will hurt his chances of doing that.
As far as this year's team, we should be ok. We have plenty of depth at defensive end which is where Hayes was primarily playing. I'm confident Maurice Evans, Josh Gaines, Aaron Maybin, and Chris Rogers can carry the load. And now that Kevion Latham's redshirt has been lifted look for him to get into the rotation as well.