Colorado coach Deion Sanders expects two-way star Travis Hunter to miss time with an undisclosed injury he received on a violent hit during the Buffaloes’ 43-35 victory over rival Colorado State on Saturday night.
“The first thing I heard is that he would be out for a few weeks,” Sanders said in his postgame press conference. “I heard that for sure. But we will do what we must to take care of him. I know Travis probably will want to be out for two weeks. But we got to make sure he is OK. His health is more important than this game.
While playing wide receiver, Hunter was hit hard by Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn during the first quarter of the game and stayed down on the field to receive attention from trainers. Blackburn was given an unnecessary roughness penalty. Hunter ultimately returned to the game following the hit and made a tackle in the second quarter before leaving the game for good.
It was not immediately clear whether Blackburn’s hit was responsible for Hunter’s departure, but it made for an early flashpoint in a contest that was already. CU quarterback Shedeur Sanders met Blackburn face-to-face after the hit in defense of Hunter.
Hunter, who plays both wide receiver and cornerback for the No. 18 Buffs, made an early impression on the Heisman Trophy race with his performance in the season’s first two games after following Sanders from Jackson State.
Hunter ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2022 and stunned the sport of college football by choosing Jackson State and Sanders, spurning a longtime commitment to Florida State in the process. He’s developed a close relationship with Sanders, who also played both offense and defense during his college football career.
While Hunter’s durability as a two-way player logging 100-plus snaps per game has come into question, Sanders has noted that he is uniquely equipped to manage Hunter’s workload given his experience in a similar role.
“The bad thing about losing Travis, is you lose such a crucial piece of our team,” Colorado safety Shilo Sanders said after the victory. “He’s on offense and defense so it’s like you’re losing two players in one so that was pretty rough.”