Quarterback Kolton Browning will not play in Thursday’s game against Arkansas State.
Head coach Todd Berry confirmed during his weekly press conference Monday that Browning is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
The injury will not require surgery and Berry would not rule out the possibility of Browning returning to the lineup this season or for a potential bowl game.
“A lot is going to depend on how fast the healing process is,” Berry said. “Kolton hasn’t left the training room other than for class.”
Browning limped off the field during the first quarter of ULM’s 40-24 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday and did not return.
Cody Wells–who replaced Browning against the Ragin’ Cajuns–will make his first start of the season and the third of his career on Thursday against Arkansas State.
The senior has appeared in every game for the Warhawks this season, throwing for 302 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Browning is currently 19th in the country in total offense with a combined 2714 yards passing and rushing.
The Warhawks will be without their leader for what could be a pivotal game in the hunt for a Sun Belt Conference title. ULM, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State are all tied in the conference, each with 4-1 conference records and 6-3 overall records.
ULM defeated MTSU in Murfreesburo, Tenn., on Oct. 6. The Red Wolves and Blue Raiders will meet on Dec. 1.
While ULM’s offensive game plan will change going forward, Berry is confident in the character of his football team.
“While we aren’t the same team we were five weeks ago. This is a team that’s going to battle and still play hard,” he said.
Berry addresses controversial last play of ULL game
Berry began his weekly presser by addressing the much-talked about last play of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette.
On fourth down with four seconds left in the game and a ten point lead, ULL threw an 81-yard touchdown pass instead of punting or taking a knee.
Berry said he was expecting the Ragin’ Cajuns to run a “launch” play, meaning the quarterback would take the snap and throw the ball high and out of bounds, effectively running the four seconds off the clock.
Despite reports that claim ULM was blitzing on the play, Berry noticed ULL’s punt team getting ready on the sideline and sent the punt block team on the field–not his defense.
“When their offense came out on the field after the break, I didn’t put our defense back on the field,” Berry said. “We didn’t have a timeout to put our regular defense out on the field. What happened was unexpected so rather than take a penalty on the play, I assumed the ball would be thrown out of bounds.”
ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth defended the play after the game, saying he “could care less how it looked” and that his intention wasn’t to run up the score.
Berry and Hudspeth did not speak after the game, but a ULL assistant coach communicated to Berry that the touchdown pass “wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on all of this,” Berry said. “That’s the way the game turned out.”