Montana State's Andersen expected to be medical redshirt

CRAIG HALEY (Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor=)
The Associated Press

(Stats Perform) - Montana State All-America linebacker Troy Andersen is expected to sit out the 2020 season due to lower extremity injuries and return to play his final season in 2021, coach Jeff Choate said Wednesday.

Andersen, a two-way player, was injured against UC Davis in mid-November and sidelined during the Bobcats' playoff run to the semifinals. Choate said the 6-foot-3, 233-pound senior suffered a setback during winter conditioning and required surgery, but due to COVID-19 protocols during government shutdowns, it was delayed nearly three months until early May. His doctors have projected Andersen won't be ready to return this season until the timing of the playoffs.

"We're doing what's best for Troy and I actually think it's best for our team, too," Choate told media members on a Zoom call.

"I don't care, who you throw out there. Hey, that quarterback from North Dakota State (Trey Lance), he's a hell of a player, but he can't play linebacker the way Troy Andersen can. I truly believe Troy is the best player in the FCS. And, yes, is it going to hurt for us to lose him? Yeah. Is it going to galvanize our team and put a bigger chip on our shoulder? You bet."

Andersen's versatility has been reflected in his Big Sky honors. He was the conference's 2017 freshman of the year as a running back and linebacker, then earned first-team honors each of the past two seasons, first as a quarterback in 2018, then as a linebacker last year.

In 10 games last season, Andersen finished with 54 tackles, including 39 solos, 11½ tackles for loss, 6½ sacks, an interception and five pass breakups. He also rushed for 336 yards and seven touchdowns and passed for another score.

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