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UNC QB Sam Howell goes down after taking a big hit on a run play, returns after one play

The Tar Heels quarterback has led his team back from an eighteen point deficit.

Wake Forest v North Carolina
Nick Andersen of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons attempts to tackle Sam Howell of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of their game at Kenan Memorial Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The North Carolina Tar Heels may have to complete their stunning comeback against the No. 9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons without star quarterback Sam Howell. Howell went down after suffering a big hit on a keeper in the red zone. He was slow to get up before eventually relaxing on the turf with two trainers huddled over him.

The Tar Heels were down 45-27 in this game and have come all the way back to tie things up 48-48. Howell left for one play before coming back into the game. North Carolina failed to move the chains and had a big decision to make in a tie game. The Tar Heels settled for a field goal to take a 51-48 lead.

Howell was a preseason Heisman contender but ultimately wasn’t able to generate some early wins to bolster his campaign heading into the stretch run. The Tar Heels haven’t made much noise in a down year for the ACC, so Howell’s next step is likely to prove his NFL draft stock is still high after a tough year in Chapel Hill.