LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – Following Utah’s thrilling 34-32 victory over USC Saturday night, head coach Kyle Whittingham announced that quarterback Cam Rising as well as tight end Brant Kuithe will not play this season.
Rising and Kuithe both suffered knee injuries last year, and had been working to return to the field at some point this season, but they are being shut down for the year.
“Cam and Kuithe are shut down for the year, for the rest of the season,” Whittingham said. “So that hopefulness each week is no longer. It was a medical decision to just shut them down.”
It is unclear yet if Rising and Kuithe will take a medical redshirt year and return to Utah in 2024, or leave for the NFL.
Rising earned first team All-Pac-12 honors last season in leading Utah to its second straight Pac-12 title, but suffered a severe knee injury in the Rose Bowl, where he tore multiple ligaments.
Kuithe suffered a season-ending knee injury in week four against Arizona State in the 2022 season and has been unable to return.
“Don’t know what the future holds exactly for each of them,’ Whittingham said. “But when they’re ready to talk about that, they’ll be the ones to do that. That decision is not made right now, that’s the next thing to happen. They’ve got a lot of options. As far as I’m aware, they should both get the extra year, but we don’t make that decision. That’s an NCAA decision, but that should preserve the year because they’re season-ending injuries.”
Bryson Barnes has filled in as the starting quarterback and will remain in that position the rest of the year. Barnes threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns against the Trojans Saturday.
The Utes also got bad news on the defensive side, as star linebacker Lander Barton got injured against USC and will miss the remainder of the 2023 season.
“We lost Lander Barton for the rest of the season tonight,” Whittingham said. “Big part of our defense, terrific player, he’s out. “Levani Damuni will be the starting linebacker next to Karene Reid, and now it’s his opportunity to step up and show what he can do.”
Utah next hosts Oregon on Saturday.