Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Juron Criner did not practice Monday because of an illness, though coach Mike Stoops remains hopeful that his star wide receiver will play Thursday at No. 9 Oklahoma State.

Stoops said on the Pac-12 media's weekly conference call that Criner "was sick yesterday and we hope he's back today."

Asked if he still expected Criner to play against the Cowboys, Stoops was brief: "Yes."

UA officials would not comment on Criner's status following Monday's practice on campus. Criner was not seen leaving the Jimenez Practice Facility with his teammates, and Stoops — per team protocol for Monday night practices — did not speak to the media.

Criner is coming off one of the best games of his career, a six-catch, 151-yard showing against Northern Arizona in Week 1. He caught a touchdown pass on the third play of the game, pacing quarterback Nick Foles' 412-yard passing performance.

If Criner is unable to practice or travel with the team, the UA will likely turn to either junior Dan Buckner or redshirt freshman Austin Hill to start at outside receiver opposite Gino Crump. Buckner, a transfer from the University of Texas, caught four passes for 38 yards against NAU. Hill caught one pass, a touchdown, for 24 yards.


The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.