Arkansas-Monticello starting quarterback Hunter Leppert was only slated to miss a game or two because of an injury to his sternum that he suffered during UAM’s (1-4, 0-3 GAC) loss to East Central on Sept. 22.
Leppert also suffered swelling in his knee, which after a check-up, was actually a torn ACL and he will miss the rest of the season.
But Leppert could be out longer than a year. The injury may end his career.
The torn ligament is in the same knee — his right one — that he tore last year in the third game of the season against Ouachita Baptist. That was actually the second time he tore the ACL, so this will be his third surgery on the same knee.
UAM coach Hud Jackson said Leppert and his family are consulting a couple of options right now.
“I am not going to do this decision when it comes to health,” he said. “We are going to try and get him to the right people to help him decide in the direction that he goes. That’s a decision for him and his family.”
Leppert, a redshirt freshman, started the first four games of the year for UAM and the first three of last year’s season before his injury. He was able to obtain a redshirt last season.
Leppert has passed for 530 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He has also rushed for 64 yards and one touchdown.
Leppert is the third quarterback to suffer a season-ending injury this year. Canden Dallas, a transfer, injured his shoulder during fall camp and had season-ending surgery.
During UAM’s game against Northwestern State, Jacob Lennox dislocated his ankle and it required season-ending surgery. In two games, Lennox rushed for 111 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 116 yards and a score.
Damon Wicker, who played in eight games in Leppert’s absence, is now the starting quarterback. Wicker, a senior, has passed for 585 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Texarkana freshman quarterback Elgie Richards is also on the roster, but is being redshirted, Jackson said.
Wide receivers Ian Levine and Trey Taylor are taking snaps at quarterback and both have experience at the position.
“Trey played quarterback in high school in Shreveport (La.) and Levine will be our third guy,” Jackson said. “Ian played quarterback at Neville High School in Monroe (La.). We don’t want to take away Elgie’s redshirt. We just have to become a lot more creative.”