Jude Wolfe will miss the start of the 2022 season with a foot injury.

Head coach Lincoln Riley confirmed on Friday that Wolfe, a fourth-year junior tight end, will undergo surgery to repair a foot issue. Multiple reports from practice Thursday and Friday said Wolfe was seen with a boot on his foot.

“He’s going to have a procedure done here pretty quick,” Riley told reporters on Friday. “We’ll get it cleaned up and hopefully have him back for the second half of the season.”

It’s a blow to the offense, for sure. Prior to the injury, Wolfe had been practicing at the H-back position and looked like the kind of tight end who has been effective in Riley’s offense in years prior.

The 6-foot-6 tight end had eight catches for 56 yards last season, making 11 appearances and starting once. He missed the 2021 spring period while recovering from a broken foot that limited him to just four games during the 2020 season.

Wolfe was a 4-star recruit coming out of Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco High School. In Wolfe’s absence, USC will turn to a group that includes fifth-year senior Malcolm Epps, sixth-year senior Josh Falo, and redshirt freshman Lake McRee.