During the UConn game Purdue suffered a big loss as starting running back Zander Horvath went down with an injury. It was quickly apparent that he would not come back in the game as he was ushered back to the locker room immediately. When he emerged he had a boot on his leg and was largely out of uniform. That’s never a good sign and the worst fear machine in our minds began to run. Well, today we got concrete word on what happened via Jeff Brohm’s press conference.
Brohm: Zander Horvath out 4-8 weeks with broken fibula. Surgery today.— Tom Dienhart (@TomDienhart1) September 13, 2021
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that a running back with a broken leg is not ideal. There are certainly injuries that players can play through such as maybe a broken finger, an injured ankle to some extent, or even some toe or slight knee issues, but a broken leg is not something that someone can simply tough out. With surgery today and a 4-8 week timeline for a return that would put him back somewhere between the Wisconsin game on October 23rd and the Ohio State game on November 13th.
Horvath was Purdue’s number one back coming into the year after a 2020 season in which he carried the ball 89 times for 442 yards and 2 touchdowns. Thus far in the young season he had tallied 23 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown. Not earth shattering numbers but he’s a guy that Brohm trusts to be consistent and not make mistakes.
With Horvath out the load will fall even further onto King Doerue, Dylan Downing, and possibly Ja’Quez Cross. Additionally, Brohm mentioned at his press conference that he was still hopeful that Indiana transfer Sampson James could receive a waiver from the NCAA to be immediately eligible but at this point that seems like a long shot.
For now we look to the players we have and hope that Horvath has a successful surgery and a full recovery. Good luck young man.