Bryant missed the final month of the 2017 regular season with a knee injury, and his 2018 season appears to be in jeopardy.
Washington sophomore tight end Hunter Bryant, it appears, is dealing with another knee injury that could jeopardize his 2018 season.
In an Instagram story posted early Saturday, a picture appears to show his left leg propped up, completely wrapped and immobilized, with crutches in the background. Text on the post reads: “the saddest thing is i can’t hoop for 9 months” and accompanied by three sad/crying emojis.
Nine months is the typical recovery time for a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The post appeared to have been deleted from Bryant’s Instagram later in the day.
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Bryant is one of the Huskies’ most promising up-and-coming offensive talents, and he figured to be one of Jake Browning’s top receiving targets this fall.
The former Eastside Catholic star earned Freshman All-America recognition from ESPN in 2017. That was despite sustaining a left knee injury against UCLA in late October — an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season.
Sources at the time indicated Bryant had a partially torn ACL. He was able to avoid, and he did suit up for the Fiesta Bowl, though he was able to play just a couple of snaps.
In an interview with The Seattle Times in April, Bryant said he worked with UW’s training staff almost daily to rehabilitate his knee.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said at the time. “Our training staff is incredible.”
He was a limited participant in the early portion of spring practices, his workload gradually increasing each week. On the final day of spring, he played extensive snaps during a team scrimmage, tying the team high with five catches.
Despite missing November, Bryant still finished third on the team in receptions last fall, with 22 catches for 331 yards and one touchdown.
If he is out for an extended period this year, that adds further concern about a young passing attack that has few proven targets for Browning.
The Huskies do have strong depth at tight end, with senior Drew Sample a regular starter the past three seasons in the Huskies’ multiple-tight-end sets. Redshirt freshmen Jacob Kizer and Cade Otton each had a strong spring, as did senior walk-on DeShon Williams.
But the Huskies don’t have anyone on the roster with Bryant’s proven playmaking ability, and improving the passing attack was the team’s No. 1 priority going into 2018.