Hurricanes lose another key contributor with Bubba Bolden out for season with shoulder injury

Redshirt junior safety Bubba Bolden heads off of the field after Miami’s 31-30 win over #18 ranked NC State University at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 23, 2021. Bolden has been injured since Miami’s loss to the University of Virginia, and announced in a tweet that he has played his final snap for the Hurricanes.
Redshirt junior safety Bubba Bolden walks off the field after Miami’s 31-30 win over No.18 NC State at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 23, 2021. Bolden has been injured since Miami’s loss to the University of Virginia, and announced in a tweet that he has played his final snap for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

As the Hurricanes continue to struggle with health, another team captain is out for the season.

Miami head coach Manny Diaz announced Monday afternoon that redshirt junior safety Bubba Bolden, who leads the Hurricanes with 42 tackles on the season, will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury sustained in Miami’s loss at home against Virginia on Sept. 30.

“It’s affecting his tackling, his overall play,” Diaz said. “He just can’t be the player out there to help us, especially at that position where it’s unfair to have a guy playing with half an arm. He’s got to get an operation on that to get it fixed.”

The University of Southern California transfer, who was Second-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 2020 and a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, finished with 74 tackles and is known as one of the most influential leaders for the Canes.

Prior to returning to Miami for his fifth season of college football, Bolden was considered a Day 2 pick in the National Football League (NFL) Draft. Although he does have another year of college eligibility, it is likely the safety will enter his name into the NFL Draft.

Bolden joins a laundry list of key Hurricanes who have succumbed to season-ending injuries, which includes starting quarterback D’Eriq King, running backs Cam’Ron Harris and Donald Chaney Jr., along with offensive lineman Jalen Rivers.

The Hurricanes’ safety room is loaded with young talent and it is likely that Diaz opts to start two freshmen, James Williams and Kamren Kinchens, at the position this week. Second-year safety Avantae Williams made his return from a six-game suspension this past week, and it was announced cornerback Isaiah Dunson will move positions to safety.

After pulling off a 31-30 upset victory over the previously No. 18 North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday, the Hurricanes (3-4, 1-2 ACC) will now go on the road to face No. 19 Pittsburgh (6-1, 3-0 ACC) this Saturday, Oct. 30 at 12 p.m.