Junior college transfer Zaire Anderson was one of the more anticipated arrivals at Nebraska for the 2012 season.
Huskers fans got to see Anderson log significant playing time Saturday against Arkansas State when he made his first career start at weak-side linebacker.
Unfortunately, they'll be waiting a while to see him again.
Coach Bo Pelini announced Tuesday night that Anderson has an ACL tear in right knee and will miss the remainder of the season. The crazy part is that Anderson, a 5-11, 220-pound junior from Philadelphia who spent two years at Riverside (Calif.) Community College, suffered the injury last week in practice and still played against Arkansas State before an MRI revealed the tear.
"It is unfortunate for him," Pelini said. "He is really coming along, but it is what it is, he will recover fully. It was a surprise to all of us."
Nebraska will look into the possibility of a medical redshirt for Anderson, who played in the Huskers' first three games and recorded four tackles.
Alonzo Whaley, who started the first two games at weakside linebacker, could regain the top spot this week against Idaho State. David Santos, who has come on strong in recent weeks, also in the mix along with several younger players.
"We are going to evaluate some young guys who were on the redshirt plan and see in emergency who that would be, maybe a Thomas Brown or Michael Rose," defensive coordinator John Papuchis said, "but I don't know if we are ready to go down that road yet."
Linebacker depth has been a problem for Nebraska, and Anderson's loss stings as he had been projected as a big contributor this season.