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Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras mulling options after tearing labrum, rotator cuff
Petras to rehab with Hawkeyes in spring ‘with the intention of leaving all doors open’
NASHVILLE — The pain at first was “not bad” for Spencer Petras.
He had just taken a blindside sack and fumble in Iowa’s eventual, 24-17, Big Ten football loss to Nebraska and landed on his right shoulder.
“All right, let me try and throw a ball,” Petras said. “In doing that, my shoulder like slipped out. … When I felt that, I was like, ‘OK, I guess something’s wrong.’”
Petras not only tore the labrum in his right shoulder, but also the rotator cuff. After undergoing surgery earlier this month, Petras has a big decision looming.
The fifth-year quarterback still has his extra COVID-19 year of eligibility remaining, but he also has coaching ambitions.
“I’m kind of working through right now taking the next steps in my career after football, but also ensuring that I don’t look back with any regrets in terms of finishing my playing career,” Petras said Wednesday evening. “I’m not exactly sure what that will look like quite yet.”
For now, he plans to stay on the roster in the spring as he rehabs his shoulder and helps incoming quarterback Cade McNamara learn the system.
“The goal right now is to be on the roster in the spring without the intention necessarily of playing for Iowa again,” Petras said. “But with the intention of leaving all doors open and also furthering my career as a coach.”
After that, Petras’ plans are up in the air.
On one hand, Petras is unsure of whether he would need to forfeit his eligibility if he became a graduate assistant.
On the other hand, depending on how long his recovery goes, continuing his college football career could potentially require a medical redshirt and then a seventh year of college.
He expects it to be at least six months, “likely longer,” before he “can really throw like I can throw.”
“That could sometimes be like 10, 11 months,” Petras said.
His rehabilitation is “such a variable” that can be difficult to predict.
“There’s a chance I could rehab, and it’s like my shoulder is never the same,” Petras said. “It’s unlikely, but it could happen. There’s a chance it takes longer than six months to actually get back to where I was. There’s a chance it could be early.”
When the time comes, Petras will base his decision on his rehab, not Iowa’s quarterback situation.
“Cade (McNamara) is going to be — well, we’ll see how Joe (Labas) and the rest of the guys do — but Cade’s likely going to be our quarterback next year,” Petras said. “I’m not unaware to that.”
Had it not been for the unfortunate fall on his right shoulder, Petras said he would “probably be trying to train for the NFL.”
But the anticipated minimum recovery time of six months means he would not be able to throw until June.
“It’s a hard timeline,” Petras said. “A hard thing to deal with.”