Quarterback Kyle Hoppy breaks jaw in season-opener, timetable for a return unknown


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Senior quarterback Kyle Hoppy passed for a career-high 434 yards and scored all five Bengal touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) on Saturday.

Dan Almasi, Managing Editor

For a second straight year, a serious injury will likely sideline starting quarterback Kyle Hoppy for an extended period of time.

Hoppy suffered a broken jaw when he was driven to the ground on Buffalo State’s game-winning drive against Otterbein last Saturday. An Otterbein defender’s facemask lodged under Hoppy’s, and the impact when he hit the ground broke his jaw in two places. Bloodied, Hoppy stayed on the field because they “needed to score.” A rushing touchdown by Dale Stewart with 34 seconds on the clock gave the Bengals the lead and secured the win.

Hoppy says he expects to return to the field before the end of the season. When exactly, he and the coaching staff aren’t sure yet.

“I thought I lost a few teeth at first because of the amount of blood coming out of my mouth,” Hoppy said, “but then I realized it might be a bit more than that because I could barely talk.”

It’s worth noting that New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was cleared to play about six weeks after being punched in the jaw by Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Ike Enemkpali. In 2001, Peyton Manning missed just one play after breaking his jaw on a play similar to the one Hoppy was injured on.

The severity of Hoppy’s break seems more like that of Smith’s considering he’s already been ruled out for Buffalo State’s next game against Alfred University on Sept. 17. The point being: there’s no real recovery timetable for a broken jaw.

Aaron Ertel stepped up after Hoppy tore his ACL in week two of last season, leading the Bengals to a 5-2 record in his seven regular season starts. He’ll start under center against Alfred – the same team Hoppy suffered the knee injury against last season.

“After I got the X-ray results, the first person I texted was Ert,” Hoppy said, “I told him it’s his time to step up again, and that I’m confident that he will. He’s always prepared and I think he will do a great job while I’m out.”

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