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Injury leaves Stanford DE Ben Gardner a Rose Bowl spectator
Injury leaves Stanford DE Ben Gardner a Rose Bowl spectator

There may be no sadder injury in sports than one to a senior college football player who is also an NFL prospect. Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner, who will miss Wednesday’s Rose Bowl with a torn pectoral muscle, stood to the side Sunday during media day while wearing his No. 49 jersey. He was part of the team but not part of it. A career that produced 106 tackles and 17.5 sacks is of no use to the Cardinal now. Gardner played in 46 games during the renaissance of Stanford football but will watch the Rose Bowl from the sidelines. The injury that ended his career at Oregon State on Oct. 26 required surgery and a long rehabilitation. “It’s a brutal game, but it’s what you sign up...

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