Football

Syracuse’s Chris Elmore will return for 6th season next year

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Chris Elmore will not play in Syracuse's regular-season finale against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

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Chris Elmore will return for a sixth season after using this year as a redshirt year, head coach Dino Babers announced during his weekly press conference on Monday.

Elmore was injured in the Orange’s win against Virginia Tech on Oct. 23 and has not played since. He was seen on the sidelines of the Boston College game with his right arm in a sling. Babers announced that Elmore would not play on Saturday in Syracuse’s final regular season game against No. 20 Pittsburgh. 

The Chicago native did not play in the first four games of SU’s season this year due to an issue unrelated to injury or discipline. When he returned, the fullback played in four games, with SU topping 230 rushing yards in three of the four games. 

“We need him back,” Babers said in October when Elmore returned from his first four-game absence of the season. “He’s the heartbeat of this football team.”

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Elmore was named the team’s offensive captain for the season, and has taken on a significant leadership role for much of his time at SU. He lost weight ahead of the 2021 season and seemed to be much quicker on his feet. Teammates said he was like a sixth offensive lineman for the Orange, helping running back Sean Tucker with strong lead blocks.

“You can’t replace that individual,” Babers said after the NC State game. “We’re doing similar plays (on offense without him), but he’s a very special individual.”

Last season, Elmore shifted to play offensive line when the Orange were hit with a wave of injuries and their depth was thinned significantly. He’s also played tight end, defensive tackle and a special teams role on kickoffs and punts during his five years at SU. 

We would not have been able to finish the season without him,” Babers said at the end of the 2020 season. “There would have been 11 no-contests without Chris, and I can’t thank him enough for the unselfish act he did in keeping us afloat and keeping us running through these games.”

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