There is no easy way to say this, so I’ll let someone else do it.
Brohm: LB Markus Bailey out for the season. Knee injury— mike carmin (@carmin_jc) September 11, 2019
First and foremost, this is a devastating blow for Markus. He rehabbed hard to be ready to go this season after off season hip surgery. Bailey is everything that is right with college football. He is a 3 time member of the All-Academic Big10 team, a team captain, and by all accounts and all around good guy.
You hate it for the team, but you hate it even more for Markus.
Moving on to the team, losing Bailey is the worst case scenario. He brings elite athleticism and a wealth of experience to the linebacker position. He led the team with 115 tackles last season, and was well on his way to hitting a similar number this year with 14 stops in his first 2 games of 2019. On top of tackling, Bailey is Purdue’s best pass defender at linebacker. There is no 1 for 1 replacement for Markus on Purdue’s current roster.
Depending on the game, I expect to see either Cornell Jones and Jaylan Alexander (probably both) get significant bumps in playing time. Jones is a hard hitting run stopper that can get after the quarterback on the blitz. Alexander is fine in run support but brings more athleticism in pass coverage. I think you’ll see Alexander fill the nickel linebacker role next to Holt when Purdue plays a 4-2-5 and Jones to fill the outside linebacker role when Purdue is in a 4-3-4. Both of these guys came to Purdue to play, and they should get all the playing time they can handle with this injury.
Short term, this just another crushing injury to add to the Purdue pile going into a crucial game against T.C.U.
As far as I know:
Probable: Elijah Sindelar (Concussion Protocol)
Questionable: Matt McCann (ankle injury)
Out: Richie Worship (Knee Surgery Recovery)
Out: Tario Fuller (Broken Jaw)
Out: Lorenzo Neal (ACL Recovery)
Out: Markus Bailey (Knee Injury)
That’s a bunch of injured seniors. Neal and Fuller have been injured from the start of the season, and there has been a significant drop off at both positions. Purdue’s offensive line is already paper thin, and potentially losing it’s most versatile piece is bad...real bad. I think Eli plays, but if he can’t, well, there is already an article for that.
Linebacker is the one position on the defense where Purdue actually has some depth, but depth and a replacement for Markus Bailey are two totally different ball games.
Things aren’t looking great right now for the Boilermakers, but the season marches on regardless. ‘Boiler Up!’ my need to be changed to ’Next Man Up!’ at this rate.
When I decided to come to Purdue, these lights didn’t exist. A lot didn’t exist. I came here to help rebuild a broken program. It’s been rebuilt. If there’s one thing being a Boilermaker has taught me, it’s how to deal with adversity. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. pic.twitter.com/CPuRPm1LtK— Markus Bailey (@mb_boiler21) September 11, 2019