Signs of spring: Flowers, birds, torn ACLs

Hawkeyes lose two football players to knee injuries this spring

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Football is rough.

Iowa’s football team had two players suffer torn ACLs during this year’s spring practice, probably preventing them from participating in the 2017 season. They are starting safety Brandon Snyder and second-team offensive lineman Dalton Ferguson.

I thought that sounded extreme, two players on the same team suffering serious knee injuries in the spring. Then I looked around the nation, and … nah. What was I thinking?

Among other players who tore ACLs in spring practices:

Louisville running back Dae Williams

Rutgers wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell

USC linebacker Taylor Katoa

Mississippi State wide receiver Malik Dear

Connecticut linebacker E.J. Levenberry

West Virginia center Jacob Buccigrossi

Houston wide receiver Marquez Stevenson

Jeepers! This is spring practice, not the fastest, most-furious full-speed games of the fall.

That’s just a partial list of torn ACLs. To cite all the players with one injury or another would take more bandwidth than heaven allows. To cite all the college players who suffered torn ACLs during last season’s games would do likewise.

Arkansas linebacker Alexy Jean-Baptiste broke a foot during spring practice, by the way. He is the sixth Razorback player in the last two years to endure that particular injury.

Florida Coach Jim McElwain sent out a release saying 22 players were injured at some point during spring, with three of them “not currently on track to be cleared for the start of fall practice.” Washington cornerback Sidney Jones, who had been considered a surefire first-rounder in next week’s NFL draft, ruptured an Achilles tendon during his pro day workouts.

Football is rough.

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