K-State versus Nicholls, Malik Knowles

Nicholls defender Giovanni LaFrance (left) tackles Kansas State receiver Malik Knowles in the season opener Aug. 31. K-State head coach Chris Klieman said Monday Knowles likely won’t be able to play in this week’s game against TCU.

Kansas State will try to end a two-game losing streak when it hosts TCU on Saturday. But the Wildcats might have to do it without one of their best players.

During his weekly appearance on the Big 12 coaches teleconference, K-State head coach Chris Klieman said redshirt freshman wide receiver Malik Knowles likely won’t be available Saturday.

“I don’t have an update, just (because) we haven’t been able to be together yet this week,” Klieman said Monday. “I would say it would probably (be) doubtful.”

Knowles suffered a lower-body injury during K-State’s win at Mississippi State last month, a game in which he scored on a 100-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter that netted him the Big 12’s special teams player of the week award. Knowles then sat out K-State’s road loss to Oklahoma State on Sept. 28, not even traveling with the team.

He came back for K-State’s previous game, a 31-12 setback to Baylor on Oct. 5. Wildcat quarterback Skylar Thompson targeted Knowles on their first three plays. Knowles left the game during the first quarter and did not return.

Aside from the special teams prowess he showcased against the Bulldogs, Knowles also has been the Wildcats’ most explosive threat in the passing game.

The Texas native’s 14.2-yards-per-reception average is tops on the team among wideouts with 10-plus catches. In sum, Knowles has 10 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns this fall.

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