Baylor quarterback Seth Russell broke a bone in his neck during Saturday’s game with Iowa State. Russell’s injury occurred in the fourth quarter on a four-yard run with about five-and-a-half minutes left. Russell’s injury didn’t initally look serious, but coach Briles said they would not have put Russell back in the game after he came out. Back-up quarterback, Jarrett Stidham, finished the game.
“We’re going to evaluate Seth in the next few days,” Briles said. “If he’s cleared, he’ll play, because he’s a tough hombre now.”
Baylor won that game by a score of 45-28.
“He’s a tough guy. It’s hard to see tough guys hurt,” head coach Art Briles said.
Baylor has a bye week this week, then their schedule gets grueling. The Baylor team travels to Kansas State to play the Wildcats on November 5th, then they play at home against Oklahoma on November 14th, they have another away game against Oklahoma State the next week, and then they finish off at home against Texas.
“Always concerned, 100 percent. First and foremost, about his health and then football,” coach Art Briles said after Russell got hurt in the Bears’ 45-27 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.
Russell’s break was evident in post-game X rays and a CT scan. Baylor coach, Art Briles didn’t put a timetable on Russell’s break.
Briles told reporters that Russell “probably would be out for awhile.”
Russell wrote on his twitter page that he is a devout Christian and “His plan isn’t always clear… but trusting in his plan for me. Thanks for all the prayers, Baylor.” He didn’t make any comment about his injury or the extent of it.
Back-up quarterback will take over as the Bear’s starting quarterback until Russell can come back. Stidham has played a little in every game so far this season and has completed 24 of 28 passes for 331 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions.
So far, his season as Baylor’s starting quarterback, Russell has thrown for 2,104 yards and has 29 touchdowns.
“This is a tough deal for Seth,” Briles said. “Stidham is the best young quarterback I’ve been around. He’s very polished.”
So far this season, the Bears are ranked as second in the country and stats tell us they may have a good chance of being a College Football Playoff team. The offense has scored 63.8 points per game out of six games thus far and that is more than anyone else in the country. The offense is also leading the country is total offense currently at 719.7 yards per game. Losing Russell could be devastating to the Bears.
Injuries are not new to the Bears, however. Bryce Petty, who was the quarterback for the Bears last season, played with two cracks in bones near his spine.
Two of Russell’s teammates, Shock Linwood and Walter Abercrombie are hoping for good news for Russell.
“I’m concerned because that’s my No. 1 quarterback,” Linwood said. “So I’ll just say whenever they look at him later on tonight or tomorrow, we’ll see what’s wrong with him. And hope we correct that.”
If Russell is sidelined for an extended period of time, Stidham would step in as the starting quarterback.
Stidham is not your normal freshman. When he was a senior at Stephenville High School, Stidham was ranked as the top dual-threat prospect by 247Sports and second by ESPN. Originally committed to Texas Tech, he changed to Baylor late in the process.
In all the games he gotten to play in thus far, he has completed 24 of 28 passes for 331 yards and six touchdowns. His passing efficiency rating of 255.7 is actually higher than Russell’s total of 189.7.
Earlier this month, Briles made a comment about Stidham playing early.
“It just accelerates his process,” Briles told Waco Herald-Tribune. “Stidham is so far along mentally and physically and in maturity, so he’s ready to go. He’s going to be on a fast track.”
We wish Seth Russell all the best and hope he heals quickly.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]