Colorado WR Travis Hunter could play Friday against Stanford

Colorado two-way star Travis Hunter has a "tremendous chance" to return Friday against Stanford after missing the team's past three games, coach Deion Sanders said.

Sanders said Tuesday that Hunter, a cornerback and wide receiver who sustained a lacerated liver Sept. 16 against Colorado State, is cleared to play and has been practicing. Sanders wants to ensure that Hunter is in game shape and won't be "a liability" for the Buffaloes, who enter the game at 4-2 following Saturday's win at Arizona State.

"I don't want him to be a liability, I want him to always be a tremendous asset," Sanders said. "Travis came to me [Monday] morning, saying, 'What more can I do to help us get to the point that we need to get to?' I love the team aspect of Travis 100 percent. I hope he can play."

Hunter logged 129 snaps in his Colorado debut against TCU, recording an interception and made 11 receptions for 119 yards. He has 16 receptions for 213 yards, and nine tackles and two pass breakups on defense. Hunter sustained the injury while on offense, when Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn delivered an illegal hit along the sideline. He remained in the game but later went to a local hospital for treatment.

"He's cleared and he has protection on to secure those areas, but the game is the game," Sanders said. "The game is a violent game, it's a vicious game, it's a very physical game, but Travis is also physical."

Sanders is hopeful running back Alton McCaskill, a Houston transfer who earned second-team All-AAC honors in 2021, is set for a bigger role Friday as he works his way back from an ACL injury that cost him the 2022 season. McCaskill has only six carries for 22 yards in two games.

"He's been banged up, he's been injured, he's just getting back to really game speed or his expectations, and we're trying our best to play all those backs," Sanders said. "That's probably the best collective group on our team, the running back room. It's just tough to get 'em carries, because they're so good."

Sanders also said he spoke Sunday with Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham about an incident that occurred on the final play of Saturday night's game. Sun Devils wide receiver Elijhah Badger ran toward the sideline before flinging the ball back onto the field. Most players assumed the game was over, but Colorado's Jordan Domineck picked up the ball before being leveled by ASU's Cam Skattebo, who had raced back onto the field. Skattebo posted on X that he had not heard a whistle and wasn't taking a cheap shot at Domineck

"We're good, moot point, we're good," Sanders said.