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BOULDER-CO-October 15:University of Colorado Boulder's Deion ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Deion Smith goes to the outside with Frank Fillip, right, blocking for him against the Cal Bears on October 15, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

It was a scary moment for the Colorado football team when running back Deion Smith was injured and taken off the field on a stretcher on Saturday.

Fortunately, he is doing well.

On Sunday night, interim head coach Mike Sanford said Smith is “in a good place” after taking a big hit in the Buffaloes’ 20-13 overtime win against California at Folsom Field.

Smith was injured early in the fourth quarter after catching a pass and taking a hit to the mid-section. He fumbled the ball and then lay motionless on the field for a few minutes. Doctors and trainers from both teams rushed to his side and wound up strapping him to a stretcher and taking him off the field on a cart.

Sanford said Saturday night that Smith was walking around after the game and he gave an even better report Sunday. Smith did not have to be hospitalized.

“He was able to walk out of the facility on his own accord,” Sanford said. “It just ended up not being as drastic as what was feared originally. Complete functionality of all limbs; all fingers, all toes have feeling. He’s in a good place. I spoke to him last night and his mother; she was certainly relieved. Also this morning I checked in with him.

“I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be a significant long-term injury from what I gathered at this point.”

Sanford, in fact, did not rule Smith out of playing in Saturday’s game at Oregon State (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network). He added, however, that Smith would likely not practice when the Buffs return to the field on Tuesday.

“We’ll play it by ear with regards to his availability for this week,” Sanford said.

Smith leads the Buffs with 243 rushing yards this season. Senior Alex Fontenot has missed the last four games with a chest injury and Sanford didn’t rule him out of playing Saturday, either.

Even if the Buffs are without Fontenot or Smith, Sanford said he is confident in the trio of Anthony Hankerson, Charlie Offerdahl and Jayle Stacks.