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Multiple starters out as Central Michigan heads to Buffalo


Central Michigan defensive back Kyron McKinnie-Harper watches a New Mexico State receiver Oct. 12 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

As Central Michigan gets set to hit the road to face Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo, it will do so without multiple starters. 

Freshman cornerback Kyron McKinnie-Harper, senior defensive tackle De'Andre Dill and junior tight end Tony Poljan were all ruled out by Jim McElwain on Wednesday. Junior fullback Hunter Buczkowski is also injured and will not play.

McKinnie-Harper and Dill both exited CMU's 38-20 win over Bowling Green last week. Neither player has been at practice the last few days. Poljan practiced this week, but he isn't healthy enough to take the field in a game situation.

The nature of the injuries was not clear, but McElwain said that he does not envision any of the four to be out for long. McElwain added that he thought Dill would be able to play but was not able to practice this week — therefore he will not play Saturday.

"That just means we need some other guys to step up," McElwain said. "We'll be able to get in and out of a few different personnel groups because of that." 

Safeties Alonzo McCoy and Da'Quaun Jamison are healthy and will play for the Chippewas.

Sophomore Bernhard Raimann is slated to start at tight end, and he will be backed up by junior Oakley Lavallii. The injury to McKinnie-Harper allows sophomore Brandon Brown an opportunity to fill the void.

"It's totally up to the trainers," McElwain said. "We've got a great staff here and they do a great job of taking care of our guys."

To this point, Poljan is tied for second on the team with 23 receptions and has 273 yards and 2 touchdowns. McKinnie-Harper has 23 tackles (17 solo), a forced fumble and seven pass  breakups. Dill has seven tackles (five solo) and a fumble recovery.