PULLMAN, Wash. – Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders was knocked out of the game against Washington State here Friday night after he was sacked four times in his first 10 plays, including a brutal hit that appeared to injure his right throwing arm in the first quarter.
Sanders, son of Colorado coach Deion Sanders, returned after the latter hit to throw a 45-yard touchdown pass to receiver Travis Hunter. But then he came out of the game and headed to the locker room after a fumbled snap in the second quarter, when Colorado trailed 28-7. A Colorado spokesman confirmed he was out of the game for good after that.
He was replaced in the first half by freshman backup quarterback Ryan Staub as Colorado again struggled with pass protection, this time against a Cougars team that had lost six straight games. The Buffaloes (now 4-7) entered the game yielding the second-most sacks in the nation (49).
Shedeur Sanders suffered all but one of them and previously needed painkiller injections to finish games. Yet he never had to leave a game because of all the hits until Friday, when he appeared doomed from the start on a chilly autumn night here at Martin Stadium.
Washington State took a 14-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first quarter after forcing Sanders to fumble the ball on the hit that appeared to injure his arm – a helmet-to-shoulder blast from behind by Cougars defender Ron Stone Jr. Stone’s teammate Brennan Jackson then scooped the ball up and scored a 40-yard fumble return touchdown.
Brennan Jackson with a scoop and score to give Washington State the 14-0 lead! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/S1ABPjQNAu
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 18, 2023
Sanders, a junior, dressed in warm-up gear and watched the game on the sidelines after halftime, when the Buffs trailed 42-7. He finished the first half with six pass completions in 10 attempts for 86 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions – enough for him to set Colorado’s single-season record with 3,230 passing yards, eclipsing Sefo Liufau in 2014 (3,200)
Statistical milestones never mattered to him, however. Colorado went on to lose 56-14 and finishes the regular season next week at Utah.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders knocked out of game vs. Washington State