Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold won't see the field for the first part of December and potentially the rest of 2021.
Urban Meyer on Monday confirmed that the fifth-year tight end has been placed on injured reserve with a sprained MCL.
"He's out for a while," Meyer said.
"We are still not completely sure [if it is season-ending]. For sure IR, though."
Arnold played in just five offensive snaps in the team's 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.
Sunday's catch was Arnold's first in the last two weeks, as he did not receive a target in the team's loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. But after his first grab since Week 10, the Jaguars' athletic tight end was forced to leave the field after trainers attended to him on the field following Arnold fighting for yards.
It's been a wild season for Arnold, who began the year with the Carolina Panthers before being traded three weeks into the season for C.J. Henderson.
"He’s everything you want. He’s a very serious guy," Meyer said about Arnold earlier in the season.
"I think when we talked to Carolina when they said we have to visit with the team because he’s a leader on their team, I remember [General Manager] Trent [Baalke] and I looking at each other and going, ‘That’s exactly what we want’, and he’s been that way for us.”
Despite only appearing in eight games for the team, Arnold ranks third on the team in catches behind Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault, who have both played in every game so far. Arnold has caught 28 of his 41 targets for 324 yards, proving to be a reliable option for Trevor Lawrence in the middle of the field.
“It doesn’t surprise me, just seeing the way he works. He’s just a really smart player. Obviously, he’s very athletic, can get open, [has] long strides, [is] a fast guy. He can run, so it’s a mismatch," Trevor Lawrence said about Arnold earlier in April.
"But [he’s] just really smart, QB friendly. We communicate a lot, so it doesn’t surprise me just seeing how he’s come in and kind of become one of our guys. I think it’s great and it’s something that we needed. It doesn’t really surprise me, but it is cool to see how fast he’s gotten use to the system and kind of just gelled with everyone. It’s been cool.”
Arnold's loss isn't the first time a target for Lawrence has gone down. DJ Chark's season ended in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals after fracturing his ankle. Then, Jamal Agnew suffered a hip injury last week against the 49ers.
While Arnold has yet to be ruled out for the season, there is a good chance he won't be able to return until the calendar turns over to 2022, where the Jags have to decide if it is worth risking re-injury.