South Carolina’s depth at wide receiver took a hit when it was announced Friday junior Damiere Byrd will miss the Capital One Bowl after injuring his knee in practice this week.
Byrd, the Gamecocks’ second-leading receiver, will have arthroscopic knee surgery. No timeline was given for his return to football, but he will miss No. 8 South Carolina’s game against No. 19 Wisconsin on New Year’s Day in Orlando.
Byrd has had a breakout junior season, with 33 catches for 575 yards and four touchdowns. Fellow junior Bruce Ellington is the only South Carolina receiver with more catches (43) and yards (635). Byrd has averaged 17.42 yards per reception, the sixth-highest average among SEC receivers.
With Byrd unable to play against the Badgers, underclassmen Shaq Roland and Nick Jones will likely have a bigger presence in the Gamecocks’ passing game. Roland has 19 catches for 343 yards and five touchdowns this season, while Jones has 24 catches for 256 yards and five touchdowns.