Junior defensive back Kendarius Webster will have to put his long-awaited return to the gridiron on hold for one more game after being suspended for the Ole Miss season opener against South Alabama.
Webster and linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes, who were both arrested Tuesday night on shoplifting charges, will be on the sidelines for the first game of the year in Oxford.
Interim head coach Matt Luke announced on Wednesday that he will suspend both players for one game after looking into the incident and talking with the two players. Luke also mentioned that both players will be expected to take part in community service.
Webster, who missed the final 11 games of the 2016 season, injured his left knee on the first defensive series against Florida State in the 2016 season opener. Bing-Dukes finished the 2016 campaign with 41 tackles in 11 games and is projected to take over the middle linebacker spot this season for the Rebels. Both players are projected to be starters for defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff this fall.
With Webster being out against South Alabama, Ole Miss will need a younger defensive back like Jalen Julius to step up and fill his shoes against the high-powered Jaguars passing attack that defeated Mississippi State in Starkville last season. Inside, redshirt freshman Donta Evans is listed as the backup to Bing-Dukes at middle linebacker, and the Rebels will rely on him to help lead the defense in his first collegiate game.
The Rebels began Fall Camp on Wednesday night and they prepare for the long-awaited 2017 campaign, kicking off Sept. 2.