Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders had been one of college football’s best quarterbacks this season despite a lackluster team surrounding him. All the hits Sanders has endured behind Colorado’s offensive line took their toll and ultimately led to him getting knocked out early in Colorado’s game against Washington State in Week 12.
With Sanders’ injury forcing him to miss the season finale, the final results were revealed to potentially be more serious than originally thought.
Shedeur Sanders Injury Update
Sanders lost his ability to grip the football before suffering the ankle injury that finished his night, according to head coach Deion Sanders.
“He had some numbness in his hand and couldn’t really grip the ball,” Deion Sanders said after the game. “But then that second hit he just got [his ankle] rolled up on. We decided not to send him back out.”
Sanders had briefly left the game in the first quarter and was replaced by backup quarterback Ryan Staub on the next series. Sanders returned to the game and completed six passes for 86 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown to Travis Hunter, before suffering the injury that would ultimately knock him out in the second quarter.
It was revealed on Monday, nearly two weeks after the original injury, that Sanders actually had a back fracture.
Sanders set the Colorado single-season passing record in that game before suffering that injury.
Colorado’s inability to protect Sanders had been a problem all year. Sanders took the most sacks of any quarterback in the country by a pretty sizeable margin. Head coach Deion Sanders was even asked after the Washington State game if he considered shutting Shedeur down for the rest of the season due to Colorado’s elimination from bowl eligibility and his injuries, according to the Clarion Ledger.
“Shedeur is not that kind of player that wants to shut down,” said Sanders. “He wants to finish with his teammates. I’m pretty sure. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I’m pretty sure he wants to.”
Given the comments from Deion Sanders, it seemed unlikely that Sanders would have been shut down in Colorado’s final game of the season against the 23rd-ranked Utah Utes, but after no action in Week 13, it makes sense why.
As one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Sanders now faces a decision about his NFL Draft future. While it doesn’t appear like Sanders will declare for the 2024 NFL Draft, it might be in his best interest to do so to avoid taking more hits like this season.