Colorado lost more than a game this past weekend.
Linebacker Derek McCartney and place-kicker Diego Gonzalez, the football program confirmed Monday, will miss the remainder of the 2016 season because of injuries sustained in the Week 3 loss to Michigan. The former sustained a torn ACL, the latter a torn Achilles tendon.
The injury to McCartney, the grandson of legendary CU head coach Bill McCartney, came shortly after the starting ‘backer returned a fumble for a touchdown that, briefly, gave the visiting Buffs a 14-0 lead.
“I just kind of landed funny and my knee buckled on me,” McCartney said according to the Denver Post. “I felt something that felt weird. I didn’t go back in because it didn’t feel right, and the doctors figured (an ACL tear) was probably what had happened.”
Last season as a sophomore, McCartney was second on the team with five sacks.
As for Gonzalez, he had connected on 3-4 field goals and all 16 extra point attempts this season. Last year, he was 18-29 and 35-35.
With no disrespect meant to the aforementioned pair of players, though, the situation regarding Sefo Liufau bears the most attention.
The starting quarterback, who missed the last two games of the 2015 season because of a foot injury, sustained an injury to his right ankle in the third quarter of the loss. Prior to the injury, the Buffs trailed 31-28; after the injury, the Wolverines outscored the visitors 14-0 in the 45-28 win.
Liufau did not practice Monday, and his status for this weekend’s game against Oregon will be determined later in the week.
“If he’s moving good enough to play, we’ll play him,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “If he’s not moving good enough to play then we won’t play him. We’ll know as the week goes along on that.”
Should Liufau be unable to go, Steven Montez would get the start. After replacing the starter, the redshirt freshman failed to complete any of his seven passes.
For perspective as to what Liufau’s absence would mean for the CU offense, he is currently seventh nationally and second amongst Pac-12 quarterbacks in passing efficiency.