Cole McDonald had an injury, e-i-e-i-ouch.
The Hawaii quarterback was statistically one of the more prolific throwers in all of college football a season ago. In 13 games, he threw for 3,875 yards -- good enough for eighth nationally in that category -- along with 36 touchdowns to just 10 picks. Those numbers are in good and of themselves, but their context makes them even more impressive.
You see, McDonald was playing hurt last season. Like, uncomfortably hurt.
Granted, everyone plays hurt, but not many deal with the kind of issues that McDonald had. In an interview with the Maui News, McDonald confirmed that he strained his MCL in the season opener against Colorado State, which he played through on his way to a 418-yard, three-touchdown performance. Then, against San Jose State in late September, McDonald took a hit to his side that resulted in some internal bleeding. According to McDonald, that bleeding drained into his ... unmentionables.
"First game I strained my MCL, played through that," McDonald said. "First quarter against San Jose State I took a shot to the side. The guy that hit me actually knocked himself out."
With lingering pain from the SJSU game, he later went to the hospital for extra tests "and I had some internal bleeding in my side that didn't drain out properly. It was all in my scrotum. … I couldn't walk for about a week. … I played hurt most of the season. It was pretty brutal."
I would say so.
And, yet, through those injuries, McDonald was oftentimes must-watch, late-night television if the Rainbow Warriors were being broadcast. Heading into 2019, McDonald is finally healthy and enters the season as one of the more underrated quarterbacks nationally.