BOULDER - University of Colorado junior wide receiver Paul Richardson suffered a torn knee ligament late in Monday's practice and will be lost to the Buffaloes for the entire 2012 season.
At best, it's a minimum six month rehabilitation following surgery, which will be scheduled once swelling subsides. He tore it simply planting and trying to make a turn in a non-contact special teams drill. Since he played as a true freshman in 2010 and as a natural sophomore last fall, Richardson has a redshirt year and his intentions are to use it and come back at full strength in 2013.
"Obviously, it's a blow to our team, but it's a part of the game," head coach Jon Embree said. "It's an opportunity for others to step up and try to lessen his loss. I thought at first he just rolled his ankle, and it turned out to be this. It's a shame because he's worked real hard and was doing a great job both on and off the field, leading by example and improving on all the things he needed to work on."
Richardson was CU's third leading receiver last year despite missing four games with a sprained knee with 39 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns. He set a school record with 284 yards in CU's 36-33 overtime loss to California, when he also tied the school mark for single game receptions with 11. In just two years at CU, the 6-1, 170-pounder from Gardena, Calif., is already 21st in all-time receiving yards (1,069), 25th all-time in receptions (73) and tied for ninth in touchdown receptions (9).
"I told him that when I played, a torn ACL was doomsday for a skill position player," Embree said. "Now, he'll be able to come back stronger and faster. He's obviously disappointed, but he is in great spirits about what happened and will make the most of his redshirt year available to him."