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Western Kentucky sophomore tight end Joshua Simon pushes into the end zone for a touchdown as University of Tennessee redshirt freshman safety Carson Evans tries to tackle him in the Hilltoppers’ 59-21 win against the University of Tennessee Martin at Houchens-Smith Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Western Kentucky will be without a big piece of its offense for the remainder of the season.

Tight end Joshua Simon did not make the trip to Michie Stadium for the Hilltoppers’ game against Army and will be out the rest of the fall with a knee injury, WKU told the Daily News prior to Saturday’s kickoff.

“He’s got a season-ending knee injury that required surgery, so it’ll put him out for the season,” WKU head coach Tyson Helton said after the game. “He’ll work hard to get back and be good as new for next season.”

WKU did not specify what the knee injury was, but Helton said Simon already had the surgery last week.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound sophomore had a strong start to his third season at WKU in the team’s 59-21 season-opening victory over UT Martin on Sept. 2.

Simon had three receptions for 73 yards and two touchdowns in that game against the Skyhawks – the first multi-touchdown game of his collegiate career.

He was selected to the 2021 John Mackey Award Watch List, the Athlon Sports Preseason All-CUSA Second Team and the Phil Steele Preseason All-CUSA Third Team prior to the season.

Simon was productive from the tight end position in his first two seasons at WKU, starting all 12 of the Hilltoppers’ games last season and six his freshman season in 2019 – he appeared in all 13 games that fall.

In his first two seasons, Simon caught 63 passes for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. He was a C-USA Honorable Mention selection by coaches both seasons, was a Phil Steele All-CUSA Third Team selection in 2020, a 2019 C-USA All-Freshman Team selection and a 2019 The Athletic Freshman Second Team All-American. Simon had six receptions for 106 yards in the 2019 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, and was the only tight end in the nation to have 100-plus yards in a game that bowl season.

Simon’s 66 career receptions are tied with Tyler Higbee for fifth all-time by a WKU tight end. His nine touchdowns are fourth all-time by a WKU tight end.

Redshirt sophomore Joey Beljan saw significant action at tight end in WKU’s win over UT Martin. The Hilltoppers also have tight ends River Helms, Alex Williams and Dane Saltarelli listed on the roster.{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.