Ed Oliver Benched with Knee Injury vs. Memphis

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2018

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver looks on before an NCAA college football game against Memphis, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver continues to have lingering knee issues. 

Per Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle, Cougars head coach Major Applewhite said Oliver's knee started bothering him during Friday's 52-31 loss against Memphis. 

The MMQB's Albert Breer noted Oliver sat out the entire second half of the game. 

Oliver reacted to the injury after the game:

Ed Oliver @Edoliver_11

SETBACKS AFTER SETBACKS I’m just tryna be great that it Lord

Oliver was in the starting lineup for the first time since Oct. 20 against Navy. He suffered a bruised right knee after getting blocked low in the fourth quarter of Houston's 49-36 win. 

Per Duarte, Applewhite added Oliver suffered a setback trying to recover from his initial injury leading up to a game against SMU on Nov. 3 that set his timetable back two to three weeks.

Now in his junior season, Oliver has been instrumental in Houston's success over the past two years. He tallied 38.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks combined between 2016 and 2017, winning the Bill Willis Trophy as the nation's top defensive lineman as a freshman.

Despite missing the past four games, Oliver still showed his ability to dominate with 13.5 tackles for loss and three sacks entering Friday. 

In addition to Oliver's importance to the Cougars, the 20-year-old declared for the 2019 NFL draft in March. He is expected to be one of the top picks, with B/R's Matt Miller ranking him as the No. 2 overall prospect.