Chris Thurmond

Rice loses starting defensive lineman for 2014 to knee injury

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A knee injury will sideline one of Rice’s projected defensive starters this fall. Stuart Mouchantaf, a defensive tackle, will miss the 2014 season according to a statement released by the university Thursday.

Mouchantaf suffered a setback from a knee surgery that put his status in jeopardy. During a rehab workout, Mouchantaf reinjured his knee, which required additional surgery.

“This is a tough blow because we were excited about having [Christian Covington] and `Mooch’ back together this season,” Rice head coach David Bailiff said in a statement. “Dylan Klare, Ross Winship and Cody Henessee all stepped up after he was hurt last season, so we will obviously depend on them heavily this year and I know Chris Thurmond and his defensive staff will look at some other options before we open camp in August.”

Mouchantaf started the first eight games of the season for Rice alongside Covington in the middle of the defensive line. He had to leave a game against UTEP after injuring his knee. In the time he did play, Mouchantaf recorded 33 tackles.

Mouchantaf is eligible for a redshirt and will work to return to the Owls in 2015.