Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns in the Foster Farms Bowl — a 38-35 win over Arizona.
And he did so with a torn ACL.
Sindelar, the game’s offensive MVP, admitted after the game that he injured his knee against Northwestern on Nov. 11, a week after David Blough suffered a season-ending ankle injury. To that point, Blough and Sindelar had been rotating snaps throughout the year with Blough serving as the No. 1 quarterback.
First-year head coach Jeff Brohm said he did not want Sindelar to play with the injury at first, but the quarterback was able to convince him.
“My first thing was no,” Brohm said. “There’s no way he should play. I think he’s had his knee operated on more than a few times. I thought if he can wear that brace and keep it stable and if he feels like he can go, we can give it a try. I was very leery at first, but Elijah wanted to do it. We went through our trainers and doctor. He was able to pull it off.”
Purdue dropped to 4-6 in the Northwestern game, so it needed to win its last two regular season games to reach a bowl. With Sindelar at the helm, the Boilermakers did just that. He threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Iowa and 159 yards and two scores — both games without an interception — to clinch the program’s first bowl berth since 2012.
And on Wednesday night, Sindelar led the team to its first winning record since the same year. The Boilermakers jumped out to a 31-14 lead, but Arizona stormed back and took a 35-31 lead late in the fourth. With 1:44 to go, Sindelar threw the game-winning 38-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Mahongou on third-and-10.
Jeff Brohm on Elijah Sindelar playing with torn ACL. "For somebody to play almost four games with that, three and a half, that’s amazing. I couldn’t be A, prouder of his performance but to perform with that serious of an injury? How many people can do that? Less than 1 percent."
— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) December 28, 2017
Next on the agenda? Surgery. It’s scheduled for Dec. 29.
Entering 2018, both Sindelar and Blough will be on the mend. Blough, who dislocated his right ankle, told Bruce Feldman he plans to return as a fifth-year senior. He says his recovery is ahead of schedule.
#Purdue QB David Blough told me he plans to return to school to get his Masters & play his 5th year for the Boilers. He’s 7 weeks out from a dislocated ankle (same injury as Nick Fitzgerald). Said he’s ahead of schedule & expects to be a go for spring ball.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 28, 2017
Sindelar’s rehab process will likely keep him out of spring practice. Behind those two on the depth chart is Nick Sipe, who was able to keep his redshirt this season.
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