West Virginia freshman running back CJ Donaldson Jr. was carted off the field at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Saturday night in West Virginia’s 18-point loss at Texas.
Donaldson, one of the biggest threats in WVU’s offense this season, was injured on a rush attempt in the third quarter.
Mountaineer head coach Neal Brown gave an update on Donaldson immediately following the game.
“A member of our medical team is [at the hospital] with him. He’s alert, stable, has movement in his extremities, and is awaiting further testing,” said Brown. “Obviously our thoughts and prayers since that happened have been with him. We’ve got a hurt football team in there, for multiple reasons, that being the first and foremost. That was scary.”
Following his time with the media, Brown released a statement through West Virginia’s social media accounts to give a further status update on his young running back.
“CJ has been cleared to travel home with us tonight. Credit to the WVU and UT medical teams for their outstanding care,” he said in the statement.
Training staffs from both programs attended to Donaldson after he sustained his injury. Donaldson’s jersey and shoulder pads were removed while he was on the field, and he ultimately left the game via a cart.
He gave a quick thumbs up to the crowd as he was transported from the playing surface to the locker room area.
The game was halted for more than 10 minutes, as players from both teams took to one knee, and some said prayers along the field and sidelines.
“It was terrifying honestly,” said redshirt junior wideout Bryce Ford-Wheaton. “Just to be playing with him one snap, and then the next he’s getting taken off on a stretcher. But yeah, that’s the game we play. And, my prayers are with him. I know the whole team is praying for him, so we hope for a speedy recovery.”
Sophomore running back Justin Johnson Jr. picked up more carries after Donaldson’s injuries. He scored in the fourth quarter for the second-straight week, but played the remainder of Saturday’s contest with his fellow tailback on his mind.
“I’m just hoping for the best, hoping he’s OK, and just praying for my brother,” said Johnson Jr. “It’s scary when you see something like that happen.”
Not only was the injury something many of the players had experienced before, but neither had Brown, who was seeing the injury from both a coach’s and a parent’s perspective.
“I’m sitting there as a father of three, and I knew his mom wasn’t there, and that’s really all I could think about,” Brown said. “He was responding. And like I said, we’re encouraged by how he’s doing.”
West Virginia’s fourth-year head coach described the situation as “scary” multiple times.
Brown credited the Mountaineer players for their response, as they scored twice following the injury. He also credited the Texas program for its assistance on the field and at the medical center where Donaldson was transported.
West Virginia is idle during Week 6 of the college football season, and will not play again until Thursday, Oct. 13. Donaldson’s status for that game is unclear at this time.