Donald Bowens, who led N.C. State with 598 receiving yards in 2007, is out for the season because of a hairline fracture of his spine, coach Tom O'Brien said Friday night.
Bowens tried practicing for the first few days of training camp, but the injury prevented him from playing after that. He underwent a series of medical tests and learned the results Thursday. A junior, Bowens made 41 catches last season and tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.
"It's tough on him," O'Brien said. "It's tough on us, because he's our senior guy. He's the most experienced receiver we have coming back."
O'Brien was optimistic that Bowens' injury won't end his career, but wasn't certain. He said Bowens will be re-examined in three months after the fracture heals.
Bowens adds to a growing list of debilitating injuries in N.C. State's camp. Boundary safety Clem Johnson has been lost, perhaps for the season, to a broken jaw suffered during a scrimmage Sunday.
Tailback Toney Baker is out indefinitely following surgery to clear out residue from his knee. He tore a knee ligament during the season opener in 2007.
Another tailback, Andre Brown, missed his second consecutive scrimmage Friday night, but O'Brien declined to give a reason. O'Brien also refused to reveal the passing statistics from Friday's scrimmage.
He said he prefers to keep them private as the quarterback race between senior Daniel Evans, redshirt freshman Russell Wilson and freshman Mike Glennon winds down.