All-Pac-12 defensive end Ben Gardner is done for the season. The Stanford standout injured a pectoral muscle in Saturday’s 20-12 win at Oregon State and will undergo surgery to repair the damage.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Gardner’s status change after Stanford announced it Tuesday morning. ESPN.com reported that head coach David Shaw confirmed Gardner’s injury and recovery would extend beyond bowl season.
Gardner left the game in Corvallis, Ore., in the third quarter and did not return. It leaves the Cardinal without both of their starting defensive ends. Harry Anderson has been out since mid-September, but could be cleared to return against Oregon on Nov. 7.
Gardner, a senior from Mequon, Wis., is projected as a third-round NFL pick by CBSSports.com. ESPN.com doesn’t list Gardner among its top 184 players.
Gardner had 4.5 sacks and 19 tackles this season, 7.5 of them for loss, but perhaps more importantly, Gardner provided a veteran voice along the defensive front. He finishes his career with 17.5 sacks, with a high of 7.5 posted last season. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 in both 2011 and 2012.
Rivals.com lists sophomore Luke Kaumatule behind Gardner on the depth chart. The 6-foot-7, 267-pound Hawaiian had been a tight end, but was moved back to defense last month because of the injury situation, along with the disappointing play of sophomore Aziz Shittu.