TCU sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields has made headlines a few times in the Big 12 blog during the early part of this season. Unfortunately, almost none of it has had to do with his performance on the field.
That trend continues today. Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said Friday via Stefan Stevenson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram that Fields will miss Saturday's game against SMU. Patterson would not elaborate on the extent of the injury, but Stevenson reports that it's a broken foot.
Fields hasn't played much this season. He missed the season opener against LSU serving one part of a two-game suspension for violating team rules during the offseason. He also missed a portion of TCU's Week 2 win over Southeastern Louisiana as part of that punishment.
However, Fields hasn't looked like his freshman All-American self this season. He only has four tackles in two games, two of which are for a loss, and Patterson said via the Star-Telegram that the sophomore is still trying to get back into shape.
Not having Fields on the field Saturday against SMU is obviously not a good thing for TCU, but it's fair to question just how much they'll really miss him against the Mustangs if his effectiveness has been limited for a myriad of reasons.
TCU has good depth along the defensive end position, and Jon Koontz and Matt Anderson have been stepping up nicely at that spot.
It feels like TCU could ill-afford to lose anyone right now, including cornerback Jason Verrett. He's picked up where he left off a year ago as one of the Big 12's best defenders.
It's currently unknown how long Fields will be out with his injury or how his absence will impact the team. However, against SMU, the Horned Frogs should be fine.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.