The Colorado football team lost two players for the season during Saturday’s 45-28 loss at Michigan, and quarterback Sefo Liufau’s status for this week is uncertain.
On Monday, the Buffaloes confirmed that outside linebacker Derek McCartney tore his right ACL and kicker Diego Gonzalez tore his left Achilles’ tendon during the game in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“It’s really disappointing,” said Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre, whose team will open Pac-12 play on Saturday at Oregon. “The next guy has to step up and go. Derek is our biggest, strongest outside linebacker and a good player for us, a great leader. Diego, you’ve all seen what he’s been doing.”
Liufau left the game in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle and did not practice Monday.
“He was moving around better today than he was yesterday, and it’ll just be kind of day to day as the week goes along,” MacIntyre said after Monday’s practice. “If he’s moving good enough to play, we’ll play him. If he’s not moving good enough to play, we won’t play him.”
If Liufau can’t play, redshirt freshman Steven Montez would likely get the first start of his career. He went 0-for-7 on his passes against Michigan after replacing Liufau.
To replace McCartney, the Buffs could turn to sophomore NJ Falo, who returns this week after a three-game suspension. Christian Shaver could also be in line to start. He started Week 2 against Idaho State when McCartney skipped the game with a minor injury.
Chris Graham and walk-on true freshman Davis Price will compete at kicker. Graham was the Buffs’ kickoff specialist in 2015 and missed his only field goal attempt against Idaho State. Price has yet to play.
“We’ll decide on Friday,” MacIntyre said, adding that it’s possible the place-kicking and kickoff duties will be split.
Check Buffzone.com later today for more about the Buffs.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.