(STATS) - The 2015 STATS FCS Freshman of the Year won't appear in another game in 2016.
Case Cookus is done for the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered Sept. 24. His return had been uncertain, and Northern Arizona coach Jerome Souers announced Wednesday he will be sidelined for the duration of the year.
"Unfortunately at this time we have to announce that Case has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2016 regular season due to a shoulder injury," Souers said in a statement. "Obviously, the initial injury was difficult on our entire team; not only is Case clearly one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but he's an even better person and our leader.
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"Case is in good spirits, rehabbing well, and we fully expect him to return even more motivated than before to lead the Lumberjacks to great heights in the future. It is impossible to replace a player like Case, but our team will continue to rally around Blake Kemp and play Lumberjack Football."
Cookus had an FCS freshman-record 37 touchdown passes a year ago and his 282.8 passing yards per game ranked seventh in the division. With Cookus directing the offense, Northern Arizona was picked as the preseason favorite in both the Big Sky coaches and media polls.
In four games this year, he had 1,173 passing yards with 13 TDs and one interception. He is taking a medical redshirt and will still have three years of eligibility left.
"I had high hopes for my teammates and myself this season, after what we were able to produce last season, but unfortunately I injured my throwing shoulder during the Eastern Washington game and have been sidelined since," Cookus said. "My current focus is on rehabbing and getting myself ready to help the team next season."