“I think he just figured out he just can’t do it with the condition that he has,” Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost said Friday, per the school’s official website.
Bryant appeared in the first two games of the season in 2017, rushing for more than 100 yards in each, before he was hurt. He underwent season-ending surgery in late October.
After going through rehabilitation, Bryant reported feeling good during training camp, only to see the pain in his knee return to the point where he told coaches he was unable to sleep at night.
“He’s been incredible since he’s been here. I just don’t think his knees will hold up right now,” said Frost, who described Bryant’s knees as bone-on-bone.
“We were going to try to keep him on pitch count and so many reps in practice and so many reps in the game,” said Frost. “He’s good enough to be a great player, and I feel terrible for the kid, because I think he had a future in the game — a bright future in the game. But it’s hard.”
Bryant rushed 51 times for 299 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games last season, against Arkansas State and Oregon. He became the first Husker running back with 100-yard rushing games to open a season since Ameer Abdullah in 2013.
“This game has to end for all of us at some point,” Frost said. “It’s just sad when you see one that has to end too early.”