Ed Davis injury a huge loss for Michigan State

Injured Spartans linebacker Ed Davis was one of the best defensive players in the country last season, writes Steve Palazzolo.

| 2 years ago

Ed Davis injury a huge loss for Michigan State

The preseason injury bug hit Michigan State this week, as it was announced that star linebacker Ed Davis will miss the season due to a knee injury. It’s a huge loss for the Spartans, as Davis enters 2015 as the Big Ten’s second-best linebacker at 85.4 overall.

He excelled in all phases last season, grading at 86.7 against the run and 82.0 in coverage. Used about 10 times a game as a blitzer and edge rusher, Davis made the most of his opportunities, picking up eight sacks, 10 hits, and 15 hurries on his 146 rushes last season. Davis rarely came off the field — he played 84.7 percent of Michigan State’s defensive snaps, with most of his missed time coming in blowout situations — and his versatility will be missed in the Spartans’ front seven.

There are a number of options to replace Davis, though none of his potential replacements have much experience: Chris Frey (65 snaps last season), Jon Reshchike (69 snaps), Shane Jones (23 snaps), and Sean Harrington (3 snaps) are next in line to see playing time. True freshman Tyriq Thompson could also see the field, but regardless of who wins the job, it’s going to be difficult to replace Davis’ all-around production and it’s a huge blow for Michigan State’s College Football Playoff chances.

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

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