Red Raiders In The NFL: Keke Coutee And Dylan Cantrell Go Down With Injuries

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 11: Keke Coutee
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 11: Keke Coutee /

Two former Texas Tech receivers trying to make an impression as rookies with their respective NFL teams have suffered injuries that will cause them to miss significant time.

As NFL teams conduct training camps and preseason games begin this week, Red Raider fans are keeping a close eye on the progress of former Texas Tech stars.  Unfortunately, the news for two of last year’s top receivers, Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell is not good as both are currently sidelined with injuries.

Coutee is expected to miss up to a few weeks with a hamstring strain suffered last Friday.  The best-case scenario would have Coutee returning within two weeks but he is likely to miss at least two preseason games.

That will hinder his chances of earning significant playing time to begin the season.  After a strong summer and start to training camp, Coutee was considered a favorite to win the No. 3 receiver job for the Texas who drafted Texas Tech’s leading receiver in the 4th round this year.

As for Dylan Cantrell, the news could be even worse. The sixth-round pick of the Los Angeles Chargers is on crutches after suffering a bone bruise in his right knee.

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Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, a former Texas Tech football player himself, does not place a timeline on when his players may return from injury but he said Cantrell will be out “a little while”.

Cantrell was having a strong start to camp with the Chargers.  In fact, the Whitehouse, Texas product has impressed all summer since being drafted.

“Out of all the receivers, he probably improved the most this offseason.  He started out slow but got better each and every day. That’s kind of how this camp is going so far. Yesterday, he started out a little slow. Today, he looked a little better.” Lynn said following the second day of Chargers’ camp.

This injury hurts Cantrell’s chances of making the roster as teams do not consider their investment sixth-round picks to be so costly that they are guaranteed to make the team.  Plus, Cantrell needed to work with the Chargers’ quarterbacks, especially Pro Bowler Philip Rivers, to develop the chemistry that is so critical between QBs and receivers.

Two other 2017 Texas Tech receivers, Cam Batson and Derrick Willies, are also looking to earn a spot in the NFL.  Batson is in camp with the Tennessee Titans after signing a free-agent deal as an un-drafted rookie.

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Meanwhile, Willies is in camp with the Cleveland Browns and after leaving practice on July 26th due to cramps, he is back on the field and reportedly making a case for himself.  Fans watching the HBO series “Hard Knocks” might catch a glimpse of Willies as the reality show documents the Browns’ training camp.