The health of LSU quarterback, Zach Mettenberger is one the biggest questions surrounding the Tigers after the field general was forced out of the game vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks with a knee injury. The good news is that LSU will have more than a month between the time of the injury and when LSU will have a game, but the bad news is Les Miles isn’t saying anything in regard to his time frame to return.
Gif Courtesy-SB Nation
With a potential date with the Texas Longhorns or Baylor Bears in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in January, LSU undoubtedly is hoping their senior quarterback will be able to lead the offense in his final game in an LSU uniform. Despite the strong finish by true freshman quarterback, Anthony Jennings in the closing minutes vs. the Hogs, Mettenberger is the unquestioned starter after a 3,000-yard season.
LSU is off this week and have final exams next week before returning to practice to prepare for their bowl game, so it’s unlikely we have a definitive answer to his status for the bowl, but let’s take a look at a potential scenario and recovery.
During the broadcast it was mentioned that Mettenberger looked like hy hyperextended the knee. I’m no doctor, but Dr. Dave Siebert is a resident physician at the University of Washington and he explains what happens to a knee when it is hyperextended in perfect detail. Find more of his work at the Under the Knife blog.
If Mettenberger has a sprained ligament–just speculation on my part–the recovery depends on the grade. Oregon Ducks quarterback, Marcus Mariota has played through a sprained MCL. However, Baltimore Ravens receiver and return man, Jacoby Jones was much more severe and wasn’t able to play through his sprained MCL and was out for 5.5 weeks.
If Mettenberger’s injury is as bad as Jones’, that timeline would likely mean he should be able to suit up for the bowl, and because he’s not the most mobile quarterback to begin with his style of play shouldn’t be greatly effected.
We should gain more clarity in the day or so, but hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Mettenberger in an LSU uniform. The longer it goes without hearing from LSU makes me fear something really bad could be in play here.