Reynolds’ season ends with injury

Published 11:42 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chris Reynolds of the Charlotte 49ers was about halfway through a storybook climb from 2017 walk-on fifth stringer to 2018 redshirt freshman starter. He was hoping to keep the improbable ride going into December.

But things can change at the blink of an eye in the world of sports. On the third play of the second half in Saturday’s home win over Western Kentucky, Reynolds, who earned a scholarship last spring because he convinced the coaching staff he was an amazing find who slipped through the Division-I cracks, was injured and left the game.

The 2015-16 Davie star wanted to jump back in after a short break, but doctors/trainers said, “Whoa.” After getting checked out, he was ruled out for the game. More tests determined he’s out for the season.

Broken tibia.

The 49ers, who thumped Western Kentucky 40-14, improved to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in Conference USA. They went 1-11 last year when Reynolds redshirted. When spring practice opened he was still buried on the depth chart. When spring practice ended, he was slated No. 1. The job, though, was open going into fall camp. The Little Engine That Could prevailed in the end, with Reynolds beating out the incumbent and the transfer from The U, Evan Shirreffs, who went from the Miami Hurricanes to Charlotte.

Before the injury Saturday, Reynolds was 12 of 19 for 119 yards without a turnover. The 49ers were in front.

For six games, Reynolds went 100 of 154 for 1,173 yards, good for a 64.9 percentage. He tossed six touchdowns against two interceptions. He helped Charlotte quickly triple the win total from 2017.

Then came the gut-wrenching injury. We’ll wonder forever how Charlotte’s 2018 season would have unfolded with Reynolds running the show from wire to wire.

Immediately after Saturday’s game, coach Brad Lambert said if Reynolds is healthy that he’ll remain the starter over Shirreffs, who played well in relief. But Lambert did not know the severity of the injury.

As heartbreaking as the news became, the silver lining is that Reynolds has three years of eligibility remaining and he should be good to go come spring. He underwent surgery Oct. 16.

“The doctor said he’ll be ready for spring ball,” father Dan Reynolds said Monday.