Bears lose Platt, Jones for season

Junior Wide Reciever Chris Platt attempts to catch pass against two UTSA defenders. Platt has 16 receptions for 401 yards and five touchdowns this season, but Rhule announced on Sept. 26 that Platt will miss the remainder of the season due to an injury. Will Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

As Baylor football searches for its first win of the season, the Bears will be without two veteran leaders and playmakers moving forward.

Junior wide receiver Chris Platt and junior defensive end Xavier Jones will likely be out for the rest of the season due to injuries, head coach Matt Rhule announced today.

Platt suffered an undisclosed knee injury during the 49-41 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday while Jones broke his foot in the same game.

Rhule said the two will be missed and he can’t wait to have them back for their senior season.

“Those guys have been tremendously loyal to us,” Rhule said. “They’ve been great players for us and we’re anxious to get them back for their senior year next year, but as it is right now it looks like they will be out for the season.”

Platt, a speedster who also competes for Baylor track and field, was a constant big-play threat for the Bears’ offense.

Platt is currently second on the team in receiving yards with 401 and receiving touchdowns with five. At only 16 receptions on the season, Platt’s average yards per catch sits at 25.1 while his longest touchdown reception, a 79-yard catch, came against Duke on Sept. 16.

Due to his speed and quickness, Platt was utilized in the rushing attack, accumulating 36 rushing yards on four carries, good for fourth most on the team.

Rhule said we saw a glimpse of who would step up for the receiving corps on Saturday with big games from sophomore receivers Denzel Mims, Tony Nicholson and Pooh Stricklin.

“I thought Denzel [Mims] rose to the occasion last game,” Rhule said. “I thought Tony Nicholson rose to the occasion. Pooh Stricklin will step into that spot and I thought Pooh played really well on Saturday.”

Mims recorded a career-high 192 receiving yards to go along with three touchdowns while Nicholson and Stricklin each recorded season-highs of 74 yards and 85 yards, respectively.

Nicholson said that Mims has all the skills to fill in for Platt and continue to be a big contributor as a receiver on the outside.

“He brings a lot to the table. He’s big, physical, fast,” Nicholson said after practice Monday. “You can throw the ball up to him and nine out of 10 times, he’s going to come down with it. He’s just a very hard working guy.”

Rhule said the receivers may not be able to replicate Platt’s abilities in the open field, but they will need to step up to replace his production.

“I don’t know that you can replace Chris’s big play capabilities,” Rhule said. “We’re going to have to rely on some other guys that have been waiting their turn and now they’re going to have to step up in an effort to make up for Chris’s production.”

On the defensive side, Jones had been having his best year as a Bear. After having recorded only one sack in his career prior to this season, Jones had one and a half sacks through four games in 2017, good for third on the team. Additionally, Jones had two tackles for loss and six overall tackles in his third season.

The Bears look to get a win without Platt and Jones as they face Kansas State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.