It’s not uncommon for football players at all levels to receive season-ending injuries. But a Montana college wide receiver is recovering from a severed hamstring that wasn’t the result of a hit from a defensive end, it came when he was attacked by a grizzly bear while he was bowhunting last weekend.

Roman Morris, a Carroll College sophomore and pre-med student, was bowled over by a female grizzly while he was elk hunting with his brother and another friend near Gardiner on Saturday (see Monday’s post).Roman_morris

As the large grizzly sow and her three cubs passed close to the motionless threesome, the adult bear suddenly turned and raced straight toward Morris.

“It charged down the hill and just drilled me,” Morris, 21, told the Billings Gazette reporter Mike Stark.

The entire incident lasted less than a minute, as the bear bit and clawed him, severing his left hamstring, leaving a nine-inch gash in his leg, puncturing his shoulder and chomping at his head several times.

“I thought the whole time, ‘This is so messed up. I’m going to die, I’m going to die,’ ” Morris recalled.

When one of the hunters shot a pistol, the bear retreated.

Morris credits his survival to the thick coat he was wearing and a hood that protected his head during the attack.

“I still have a pretty dang good headache from the whole thing,” he told the Billings paper during a telephone interview Monday.

Doctors say he should stay off his leg for at least a month and it could be a year before he’s fully recovered from the injury.

In the meantime, Morris says, he still has a Montana elk tag to fill.

“I’m definitely going back out hunting as soon as I can,” he said.

_See the Independent-Record slideshow and hear Morris’ account of the attack in his own words._ (Linked with permission)

(Photos: Eliza Wiley, Helena Independent-Record)