Some unfortunate news broke on Saturday for a former Fighting Illini football player. San Diego Chargers tight end Jeff Cumberland learned he will miss the entire 2016 NFL season after sustaining a torn left Achilles tendon; the injury occurred during the team’s recent preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
This is the second time that Cumberland has suffered such an injury, as he also sat out for a significant portion of the 2011 season while a member of the New York Jets.
According to our friends over at Bolts From The Blue, Cumberland was having a pretty successful training camp, too. The seventh-year pro was likely going to be the No. 3 option at tight end, behind Antonio Gates and rookie Hunter Henry. So hopefully the former Illini standout will be able to recover and eventually compete for that role once more.
Cumberland played at Illinois from 2006-09. He logged 59 receptions for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns over the course of his collegiate career.
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Trent Frazier is in town for an official visit, and the caravan of coaches and family members stopped by Memorial Stadium to watch football training camp. That move allowed Frazier, a Florida native, an opportunity to meet with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith!
The Fighting Illini held their 15th Training Camp practice on Saturday afternoon on the turf inside Memorial Stadium. With classes starting on Monday, the practice marked the end of Training Camp.
Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee is bringing back a position that gets only limited use these days — the fullback. McGee has been working with two fullbacks during Illini training camp and both have shown promise, primarily as blockers and pass catchers.
Howard watched the Illini practice on Friday. It was the first time he had seen the team since Smith took over as coach. After the workout, Smith asked Howard and former Illini fullback Carey Davis to talk to the team.