Baylor Bears quarterback Seth Russell will undergo neck surgery and is out for the remainder of the 2015 season.
A news release through the Bears' official website confirmed the unfortunate news on the star signal-caller. Russell met with a specialist Monday and determined an operation was the proper course of action for the broken bone in his neck.
"Seth exemplifies the spirit and will of our football team," said Baylor head coach Art Briles, "and through this our team will keep that spirit alive and well for him."
Russell's estimated recovery timetable is approximately six months for a cervical vertebra injury he suffered in the fourth quarter of Saturday's win over Iowa State.
The junior put up scoring numbers in Briles' spread offense that most QBs would be proud of for a whole season. In addition to throwing 29 touchdowns to only six interceptions, he racked up 402 yards rushing and another six scores on the ground. His high level of play has helped the Bears become the nation's No. 1 scoring offense at 61 points per game.
True freshman Jarrett Stidham will take over for Russell. Although he hasn't faced the pressure of being a starter yet in Waco, Stidham has excelled in limited action this season, completing 24 of 28 passes for 331 yards, six TDs and zero picks.
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman is among those not giving up on Baylor despite Russell's season-ending injury:
Taking over for a star like Russell is one thing. With Baylor factoring so heavily in the College Football Playoff picture, ranking second in both major polls, the scrutiny on Stidham will be immense.
Briles' comments about Russell hint at the leadership and tone he set for the entire team. That's an intangible element Stidham will also have to bring to the gridiron and locker room so the Bears can rally around him.
His tenure kicks off the toughest stretch of Baylor's schedule, starting with next Thursday's road trip to take on Kansas State. That's followed by three games against ranked opponents: Oklahoma at home, then Oklahoma State and TCU on the road.