Coach James Franklin said Monday that Carta-Samuels tore his ACL in a win Oct. 19 over Georgia and had surgery to repair his knee shortly after the regular season ended Nov. 30.
"That guy made the ultimate commitment to his team," Franklin said.
Carta-Samuels was on crutches after getting hurt in the first half of a 31-27 upset of Georgia. He missed a loss at Texas A&M and was dressed on the sideline for the Commodores' win at Florida -- their first since 1945.
Franklin said doctors cleared Carta-Samuels to play with a brace after some rehabilitation. The senior then started the final three games as the Commodores beat Kentucky, Tennessee in Knoxville and Wake Forest to finish 8-4 in the regular season a second straight year.
When asked about the seriousness of his injury in November, Carta-Samuels said only that he couldn't hurt his knee any further by playing. He was on crutches Dec. 8 when Vanderbilt's bowl destination was announced and declined to comment on whether he had had surgery.
Robinette will start the bowl game against Houston in Birmingham, Ala. Vanderbilt started a week of practices Monday.
Franklin said they discussed whether Carta-Samuels could play in the bowl game and then have surgery before the decision for the senior to go ahead and have his ACL repaired. Playing in the bowl game would not have allowed Carta-Samuels a chance to take part in Vanderbilt's pro day workouts for NFL scouts usually held in March.
"He's had his surgery and will be back for pro day," Franklin said.
Carta-Samuels started 10 games this season completing 68.7 percent of his passes for 2,268 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also helped Vanderbilt reach a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history.