RB Sutton to have wrist surgery, miss rest of regular season

Updated: October 27, 2008, 7:18 PM ET
Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern star running back Tyrell Sutton will miss the rest of the regular season with a wrist injury.

Sutton, who hurt his wrist in the third quarter of Saturday's 21-19 loss to Indiana, will have surgery on Tuesday, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday.

"It's disappointing, especially for a senior to have something like that happen to him at the end of his career," Fitzgerald said. "Obviously, it's tough when you lose a great player like Tyrell. It's frustrating for him. It's disappointing for him."

Northwestern might also have to play without starting quarterback C.J. Bacher this weekend at No. 17 Minnesota (7-1, 3-1). Bacher injured his leg Saturday on a fourth-quarter run and is listed as questionable.

"He's moving around this morning," Fitzgerald said. "I would expect him to probably not do a lot tomorrow for sure and do rehab."

Junior Mike Kafka would get the start if Bacher is unavailable.

Sutton will miss the rest of the regular season, but Fitzgerald left the door open on a possible return if the Wildcats (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) reach a bowl game.

Sutton rushed for 776 yards and six touchdowns on 155 carries this season, giving him 3,772 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career.

His best season came in 2005 as a freshman, when he ran for 1,474 yards and 16 touchdowns and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Sutton rushed for 1,000 yards as a sophomore, but was limited to 522 yards while missing five games with a high ankle sprain last year as a junior.

Fitzgerald said he talked with Sutton on Sunday night.

"He said last year, unfortunately, prepared him for a little bit of what he's going through right now," Fitzgerald said.

With Sutton out, senior Omar Conteh will take over. Conteh, who had a pair of 100-yard games last year while filling in for Sutton, has 223 yards and three touchdowns on 61 carries this season.

"It's an opportunity for someone else to step up," Fitzgerald said. "Omar Conteh did that very well a year ago and has played well so far this year."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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