Senior linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in practice this week and will undergo surgery, according to the newspaper.
Although the school would not confirm the news, OwlsAccess.com also reported the injury to Al-Shaair, who is the school’s career leading tackler.
“Azeez was not out there (Wednesday). Hopefully will be (Thursday),” Owls coach Lane Kiffin told the newspaper on Wednesday.
Al-Shaair was named the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after registering a league-leading 147 tackles during his junior campaign. That included 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.
The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Al-Shaair was ranked as the No. 24 inside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Through six games for reigning conference champion Florida Atlantic (3-3, 1-1), Al-Shaair was second on the team with 43 tackles this season.
Al-Shaair racked up 112 tackles as a sophomore and collected 94 during his freshman season.
The Owls, who have won all three home games and lost all three on the road this season, will head to West Virginia to visit Marshall (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday afternoon.