Colorado coaches and players were adjusting to the news Monday that leading tackler Doug Rippy will miss the rest of the season after tearing knee ligaments last week in a loss to Washington.
Rippy will undergo surgery soon and probably won't return to the field until next August at the earliest. He has one season of eligibility remaining and had just started to reach his potential this fall.
In addition to the news about Rippy, the team also is preparing to play the next two games, and possibly as many as four games, without starting tailback Rodney Stewart, who suffered a sprained knee against the Huskies.
Stewart is the Buffs leading rusher and second leading receiver. The Buffs top receiver, Paul Richardson, already is out with a sprained knee of his own and is not expected back this week against the Ducks.
True freshman linebacker Brady Daigh is expected to play in place of Rippy and redshirt freshman running back Tony Jones will make his first collegiate start in place of Stewart.
In addition to those injuries, senior wide receiver Kyle Cefalo suffered a sprained knee against Washington and also is expected to miss the Oregon game. Cefalo already was playing with a fractured elbow.
Colorado has lost five players to season-ending injuries and a slew of other players are out for differing lengths of time with injuries, compounding an already troublesome depth problem when the team was completely healthy.