Colorado football star Travis Hunter could be out for up to four weeks after a late hit against Colorado State sent him to the hospital on Saturday night.
CU has not released details about Hunter’s injury, but Fox’s Skip Bayless, host of “Undisputed,” reported Monday on his show that Hunter has a lacerated liver and will be out for three or four weeks. Carl Reed of 247Sports reported that CU coach Deion Sanders told him Hunter will be out for three weeks.
A source at BuffZone confirmed Bayliss’ report on Monday morning.
Bayless said the injury “is not considered very serious,” but it appears serious enough to take the Buffaloes’ best player off the field for the 19th-ranked Buffaloes in two of their most important games of the season. CU (3-0) visits No. 10 Oregon in its Pac-12 opener on Saturday (1:30 p.m. MT, ABC) and will host No. 5 USC on Sept. 30 at Folsom Field (10 a.m. MT, FOX).
Hunter is a rare two-way player, playing both running back and receiver for the Buffs. He was playing as a starting goalie at the time of his injury in Saturday’s 43-35 overtime win over the Rams.
With about 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter, CU quarterback Shedeur Sanders attempted to hit Hunter with a deep pass down the left sideline. CSU’s Ayden Hector was flagged for pass interference, but the hit on Hunter came after the play. CSU safety Henry Blackburn was about 5 yards from Hunter when the ball fell incomplete but he continued the chase, lowered his shoulder and hit Hunter in the midsection.
Blackburn, a Boulder-Fairview High School graduate, received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Hunter immediately took off his helmet and rolled over in pain, remaining on the ground for a few moments. Despite returning to the game briefly, Hunter was taken to hospital, where he remained overnight on Saturday.
After the match, coach Prime said: “The first thing I heard was that he would be out for a few weeks. I definitely heard that. But we’ll do what we have to do to take care of it. I know Travis like a book. He’ll probably want to stay out of the house for a couple of weeks. But we have to make sure that his health is more important in this match.
However, it’s a tough loss on the field for the Buffs, where Hunter is considered one of the best all-around players in the country. He caught two passes for 21 yards and scored twice before being injured.
Hunter caught 16 passes for 213 yards and recorded nine tackles and two pass breakups this season while playing the majority of snaps on both sides of the ball.
“The bad thing about losing Travis, man, is you lose an important part of our team,” Shilo Sanders said. “He’s on offense and defense, so it’s like you’re losing two players to one player. So it was pretty tough.
Shedor Sanders quickly confronted Blackburn after the strike and said after the game that it was difficult to see Hunter go down.
“When Travis went down, I felt something, honestly, because you took one of my brothers, you know, on the offensive side,” Shediur said. “It hurt me a lot to know the work he did and everything leading up to the game and to know that you can always count on him in those moments.”
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