Western Michigan received devastating news Sept. 25 when star quarterback Alex Carder was ruled out of the team's Mid-American Conference opener Sept. 29 against West Division favorite Toledo.
Carder is considered the best quarterback in the MAC, and his absence is a major blow to a team that hoped to contend for the title in the West. If he is out of action for an extended period, it likely takes the Broncos out of serious consideration for the division crown.
Carder, a senior, injured his passing hand when he banged it on a helmet while throwing a pass in the game Sept. 22 against UConn. Western Michigan did not divulge the exact nature of the injury.
"It's a big loss, but it's football," Broncos coach Bill Cubit said. "You just go in there and get it done. Last year, he got hurt and you have another guy go in. We have a lot of confidence in Tyler. I think Alex is a great quarterback and I think Tyler is a great quarterback. We'll be fine."
Tyler Van Tubbergen, a junior, will start for the Broncos against Toledo. He took over last week when Carder was injured with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Van Tubbergen started the final game last year in place of an injured Carder and passed for 252 yards and six touchdowns against Akron, the MAC's worst team.
Carder will travel to Kansas, his home state, for treatment. The Broncos did not say when, or if, he might play again.
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