The knee injury LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger sustained against Arkansas on Friday, first described by coach Les Miles as one that would likely not keep the fifth-year senior out of the Tigers' bowl game, is in fact a torn ACL that will do just that, according to ESPN.
Mettenberger is one of the top quarterback prospects available for the 2014 NFL Draft, though projections on where he could be picked have varied. The report cites "two high-ranking NFL personnel sources" as saying that, before the injury, Mettenberger would have been drafted by the midpoint of the first round. If Mettenberger undergoes surgery to repair his ACL in the coming weeks, as the report indicates, normal recovery time from that injury would preclude him from playing in the Senior Bowl. He also would not be a full participant in the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette took to Twitter to address the report:
LSU is aware of the ESPN report regarding QB Zach Mettenberger's injury. At this point, I can't confirm or deny what ESPN is reporting.â Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) December 4, 2013
We plan to issue an update on Zach's injury tomorrow but there won't be any further comment tonight.â Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) December 4, 2013
Mettenberger was tackled awkwardly by Arkansas defensive tackle Byran Jones while completing a 32-yard pass to Jarvis Landry. He was assisted off the field and watched the remainder of LSU's comeback win over Arkansas on crutches from the sideline.
According to the report, backup Anthony Jennings, who led a 99-yard, game-winning drive in the waning minutes of the Arkansas game, will start at quarterback in LSU's bowl game.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread