PROVO — It's hardly fair, but it's the harsh reality of playing football.
BYU tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau confirmed on Sunday night via Twitter that he had indeed sustained a season-ending ACL injury during the early stages of BYU's 35-7 loss to Washington last Saturday.
"It hurts so much more emotionally and mentally than it does physically," Laulu-Pututau wrote. "But I won't be returning till the 2019 season."
Laulu-Pututau led BYU in receptions prior to Saturday's loss and did as much returning this year from a Lisfranc injury that precluded him playing the entirety of the 2017 season.
On Monday, BYU coach Kalani Sitake spoke regarding the misfortune surrounding the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Mountain Crest product as his team prepares to take on Utah State.
"He really wanted this game because he's from Logan," Sitake said. "He's had some really tough battles with injury. Starting to see him emerge as a receiver and as a blocker tight end has been really good for us, as a team, but it's always hard when a guy goes down."
Sitake spoke of Laulu-Pututau's resiliency and positive attitude, aspects he believes will continue to help the Cougars in the future.
"His leadership will still continue," Sitake said. "It's just hard not to have him with us, especially in this game, being a local product from Cache Valley. He'll be tuned in, but he just won't be able to help us on the field."
Filling in for Laulu-Pututau's reps will likely be last year standout Matt Bushman, whose play has been somewhat limited this year in part due to the emergence of Laulu-Pututau and freshman Dallin Holker.
Cougar receiver Talon Shumway has also endured his share of injury issues over his career and emphasized with Laulu-Pututau on Monday.
"It's hard, especially because Moroni — he's my best friend," Shumway said. "It's hard, especially when you know a little bit more about what's going on in their head. I haven't talked to him a whole lot about it, but my wife and I are talking a lot yesterday about how we feel about it. It's hard. It's not just hard on him, but it's hard on a lot of us."