Please upgrade your internet browser.

Our website was designed for a range of browsers. However, if you would like to use many of our latest and greatest features, please upgrade to a modern, fully supported browser.

Find the latest versions of our supported browsers.

You can also install Google Chrome Frame to better experience this site.

Concussions and Back Injuries in College Football: Injury Updates

Following the first week of college football, there have been several concussions and back injuries. As we move into Week 2, let’s take a look at where these players stand.


Concussions have been a major cause of concern in college football, and the NCAA recently released new concussion guidelines in preparation for the new season. As of now, three major teams have players who were diagnosed with concussions.

Brad Cotner of Colorado State (Offensive Lineman)

Cotner is out indefinitely due to a concussion he sustained during preseason practice. Nick Brigham of Georgia Tech (Offensive Lineman) Like Cotner, Brigham also suffered a concussion during a preseason game. He missed the first game of the season, and is expected to miss the second game as well.

Kevin Sundberg of Nevada (Defensive Tackle)

Sundberg has been out with a concussion, but may be able to play in Week 2.

Back Injuries

Aside from quarterbacks and other star players, many college teams do not release the specific details of players’ injuries, as we more commonly see with NFL players. However, we do know that there have been four teams whose players have suffered from back injuries.

Alex Kozan of Auburn (Offensive Lineman)

Kozan, who was named Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, suffered a back injury over the summer while weightlifting at home. Although the specific details of his injury are not available, it is known that the injury required surgery to correct, and he will be out for the remainder of the season.

Bryce Petty of Baylor (Quarterback)

Petty suffered from two cracks in the transverse process, the small bony pieces to the left and right of each vertebrae, following a blow to his midsection during the first game of the season. Petty’s injury has been much-covered in the media, as it is questionable whether he will be able to play in the Week 2 game against Northwestern State. An MRI determined that the injury is minor and will heal on its own, but because Petty has had to sit out of practice, it isn’t clear if he will be ready in time for the next game.

Rayshawn Jenkins of the University of Miami (Safety)

Like Petty, Jenkins injured his lower back while lifting weights. While we do not know the specific details of his injury, we do know that he needed surgery to fix the injury and will have to sit out for the entire season. His rehab is expected to take 6 months.

Brenden Motley of Virginia Tech (Quarterback)

Motley had served as the backup quarterback for the 2013-2014 season, but suffered a back injury during preseason. Motley was initially being considered for the starting quarterback position, but the injury sidelined him, and he will be out indefinitely.

While college football teams often do not release as much information about player injuries as NFL teams, there is a considerable amount of concern that these younger players will suffer from serious spine and head injuries. The newly-updated concussion guidelines show that the NCAA recognizes the seriousness of these injuries and is doing what they can to prevent them.