Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar not only helped the Boilermakers squeak into a bowl game, he was also the offensive MVP in winning that game -- all with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Coach Jeff Brohm revealed the nature of the sophomore's injury after Purdue's 38-35 win over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl on Wednesday night. Sindelar went 33-for-53 for 396 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the victory.
"For somebody to play almost four games with that, three and a half, that's amazing," Brohm told reporters after the game. "I couldn't be A, prouder of his performance, but to perform with that serious of an injury? How many people can do that? It's less than 1 percent."
When he first found out about the injury, Brohm planned to sit Sindelar, but the QB persuaded him to let him try to play.
"My first thing was no," Brohm told reporters. "There's no way he should play. I think he's had his knee operated on more than a few times. I thought if he can wear that brace and keep it stable and if he feels like he can go, we can give it a try. I was very leery at first, but Elijah wanted to do it. We went through our trainers and doctor. He was able to pull it off."
Sindelar was injured in a loss to Northwestern on Nov. 11, a game in which he threw for 376 yards. Purdue fell to 4-6 with that loss, but Sindelar helped lead the Boilermakers to wins over Iowa and Indiana to qualify for a bowl.
Brohm said Sindelar will undergo surgery before the end of the year.
It's not unprecedented for college athletes to continue to play with a torn ACL. Former Purdue quarterback Robert Marve played the final two games of 2012, including a bowl game, with an ACL tear. Deshaun Watson also played with a torn ACL as a freshman at Clemson in 2014.