Saturday September 19th, 2015

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio confirmed Sunday that starting cornerback Vayante Copeland will miss the rest of the season due to a fractured vertebra in his neck.

“It’s very unfortunate, he’s a great player and a good person,” Dantonio said. “But he’s handling it very, very well. That’s the situation and you cannot mess with that kind of thing. We took the precautions, did the MRIs, etc., and those are the things that it showed.

“He’ll heal fine, be back for the spring, but right now it’s too iffy of a situation.”

The news was first reported Saturday, as Copeland revealed he’d miss the year with a neck injury in a group text to teammates.

“It broke my heart when he texted us and said he was out for the season,” defensive back Demetrious Cox said Saturday, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It was shocking, especially a younger guy who has come so far. He’s making plays, obviously, and it was tough. But it’s the next-man-up mentality. No matter what happens, somebody’s got to be able to step up and make plays.”

Copeland, a redshirt freshman, exited early in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ win over Oregon on Sept. 12. He was seen in a neck brace on the sideline Saturday.

This marks the second Michigan State defensive starter lost to injury this year. Senior linebacker Ed Davis sustained a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.

Auburn ‘hopeful’ DE Carl Lawson (hip) can return this season

- Kenny Ducey

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