One of Nebraska's biggest scoring weapons will miss significant time.
Huskers head coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday that De'Mornay Pierson-El, return man extraordinaire and potential game-breaking wide receiver, will miss the next six to eight weeks as he recovers from a foot injury.
Pierson-El was the Big Ten's best return man a season ago and one of the best in the country. He led the conference with a 17.5-yard punt-return average and found the end zone three times on punt returns.
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He was set to play a much bigger role in the offense this season after finishing last year as the team's third-leading receiver with 321 yards and four touchdown catches.
Pierson-El also made one passing attempt last season, a 16-yard touchdown pass.
The injury is a big blow to the Huskers, who have been battling injury and depth issues at the wide receiver position all offseason. Leading wideout Kenny Bell is now in the NFL, and new No. 1 Jordan Westerkamp hasn't been full-go during fall practice. Three wideouts were dismissed from the program this offseason, and a handful of others have been limited in camp due to injuries.
With an offense looking to fill the massive void left by departed running back Ameer Abdullah, Pierson-El's injury could end up a crushing blow.