Malik Knowles’ availability in the near future remains murky. Knowles, Kansas State’s leading receiver entering last week, didn’t travel with the team for its last game, a 26-13 loss at Oklahoma State.
During his postgame press conference, head coach Chris Klieman said he wasn’t sure how long Knowles would be out. That hasn’t changed.
“I do not have any more clarity,” Klieman said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “It truly will be a week-to-week deal. And we’re hoping he can do some things this week in practice.”
Klieman appeared on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday. At that time, prior to Monday’s practice, Klieman said it was unlikely Knowles would be able to participate in that afternoon’s session.
“We’re looking at making some decisions with him probably on Wednesday but more likely on Thursday,” Klieman said. “We’re hopeful that he’s going to have an opportunity to play.”
Knowles, a redshirt freshman, was the Wildcats’ top pass-catcher through three games, leading the team in receptions (nine), receiving yardage (137) and receiving yards per game (45.7). He now ranks second to Dalton Schoen in catches (10) and yardage (150) but still remains first in yards per game and tied for first, alongside Schoen, in touchdown catches (two).
And he’s not a one-dimensional player.
Knowles showcased his special teams skills in K-State’s win at Mississippi State on Sept. 14, returning a fourth-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, which tied that game at 24. Two days after that 31-24 victory over the Bulldogs, Knowles earned the Big 12’s special teams player of the week award.
Klieman refused to rule Knowles out for Saturday’s game against Baylor, which marks K-State’s conference home opener this fall. Klieman just won’t know one way or the other until later in the week.
“If Malik can do some things — and we’ll find out Wednesday or Thursday if he can do some things — then we’re going to play him,” Klieman said. “I just can’t tell you if he’ll be able to or not until (head football athletic trainer) Mindy (Hoffman) and the medical staff gets him out of the boot to see what he can do on Wednesday or Thursday.”