College football: Syracuse loses starters Elmore, Thompson for season

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Sep. 5—Syracuse University head football coach Dino Babers confirmed Monday that the team will move forward without two key starters for the remainder of the season due to undisclosed injuries suffered in the season opener.

Fullback Chris Elmore and linebacker Stefon Thompson will each miss the rest of the year after departing SU's 31-7 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Louisville on Saturday night.

Babers provided the status update during the opening statement of his regular weekly press conference in advance of Saturday's 7 p.m. nonconference game at Connecticut.

"Both of them will be hopefully coming back, but unless something happens later in the season, we should expect that they're going to be red-shirting this year," Babers said.

Elmore was one of seven elected team captains and expected to serve mainly as a blocking catalyst for the rushing attack in his sixth season at SU.

The versatile career contributor was limited to four games by injuries as a red-shirt last season, and could potentially pursue a seventh year with multiple medical waivers and an added season of eligibility playing the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Babers said he shared a long meeting with both players together Sunday in his office.

"You're talking about a guy that's been captain for two years in one individual, and a guy that was right on the edge of becoming a captain for us," Babers said. "Both those guys have unbelievable leadership skills, and we expect them to continue to be leaders on and off the football field throughout the 2022 season."

Thompson has started 20 of 24 career games at the start of his third year with the Orange, providing 117 career tackles, including 15 for loss, to go with 9 sacks.

"He's just one of those solid guys that was extremely, extremely productive," Babers said. "A lot of guys would make plays and the guy standing next to them was Stef Thompson because he was taking two guys and all the sudden the guy (making the play) had no one blocking him. He does not get his due."