Louisville Cardinals starting quarterback Will Gardner will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a left knee injury that will require surgery.
Gardner had been excellent in his debut season at quarterback, replacing first round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. The redshirt sophomore led the Cardinals to a 7-3 record- 5-3 during their first season of ACC play – while throwing for 1,669 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. This is the third significant knee injury of Gardner’s career and could potentially inhibit his future moving forward.
With two years of eligibility remaining and a star-potential backup in Reggie Bonnafon, Gardner’s career could sadly come to a premature end.
“It is really unfortunate and disappointing for Will because of how hard he has worked and how respected he is in the locker room,” coach Bobby Petrino said in a press release. “Will will continue to be an integral part of our program moving forward because of his leadership he has displayed and the respect he has in the locker room.”
The Cardinals are in the midst of a bye week that should allow for freshman Bonnafon to receive a multitude of first team repetitions leading up to the team’s game against Notre Dame. Bonnafon is no stranger to the spotlight and has seen a large amount of playing time as a true freshman.
So far this season, Bonnafon has thrown for 662 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in extended time. He has been excellent in several key situations and provides a different look to the offense, given his presence as a dual-threat who can advance the ball with his legs. Petrino has made it very clear he is comfortable with Bonnafon at the helm.
Louisville wraps up their season with games against Notre Dame and Kentucky respectively before making their bowl appearance.
*Section Photo credit to Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports; Featured Photo (above) credit to Garry Jones, Associated Press