The Montana Grizzlies will be without their top run-stuffing defensive tackle when they host Cal Poly's rush-heavy attack this weekend.
Junior Caleb Kidder will not play Saturday, a source confirmed, after needing emergency surgery Sunday to relieve pressure in his leg following an injury sustained in Montana's thrilling season-opening victory over No. 1 North Dakota State.
The injury is not season ending and with a bye the week of Sept. 12, Kidder could be back on the field the following week against Liberty, the source said.
Kidder, a 6-foot-5, 275-pounder, took a helmet to the leg during the action that caused internal bleeding and pressure within the limb, a condition known as compartment syndrome. Though the Grizzly finished the game, the swelling grew worse by Sunday and required hospitalization.
Fasciotomy surgery is a limb-saving treatment that involves cutting into the affected tissue to relieve pressure and drain built-up liquid. The procedure has a high success rate and does not typically carry long-lasting effects.
Kidder, the holder of Montana's heralded No. 37 legacy jersey, will have a protective cast and stitches removed Friday.
The pressure in the Helena Capital product's leg increased over night, though stabilized at uncomfortable levels Saturday when he finished the game against the Bison. Kidder was on the field for the climactic play, blocking as a tight end in Montana's jumbo set to make way for running back Joey Counts's game-winning touchdown.
Counts scored from the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal with just 2 seconds remaining to seal the 38-35 victory and upset the four-time defending national champions.
He was in on seven tackles during the win at his defensive position.
The Grizzlies' two-deep lineups that were released Thursday reflected the change at DT. Redshirt sophomore Nate Bradley will move into the starting role aside senior Jamal Wilson.
It's one of the smallest inside fronts you're likely to find. Wilson is 5-11 and 270 pounds while Bradley is just 5-10, 260.
Cal Poly led the nation in rushing last season thanks to its triple-option attack at 351.8 yards per game.
Kidder's absence is one of a handful of changes to the Grizzlies' starting lineup from their first outing.
Senior outside linebacker Herbert Gamboa is back after serving a one-game disciplinary suspension for his arrest on disorderly conduct before fall camp. Also cracking the starting 11 on defense is junior transfer Yamen Sanders at strong safety.
Sanders, formerly of Arizona, backed up redshirt freshman Manu Rasmussen against North Dakota State but also saw heavy playing time. The pair are flip-flopped on this week's depth chart.
The Grizzlies are again without senior safety Jake Dallaserra, who missed the opening game as well. He may be lost for the year after separating a shoulder the week before the NDSU matchup.
Again not among the two-deeps are a pair of offensive linemen in Ben Weyer, the starting center, and guard McCauley Todd. Both appear to be still out with knee/leg injuries.
Sophomore Lorenzo Logwood is listed as the No. 2 running back as he was before the Bison encounter, though he did not play in that game because of an ankle injury. Counts took most of Logwood's carries in relief of starter John Nguyen and figures to factor in again this week.
Starting quarterback Brady Gustafson sat out practice early this week after taking a beating toward the end of the game with NDSU, but the junior is expected to play Saturday.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.