Just as Texas had gained a bit of momentum following a tumultuous start to the 2013 season, the Longhorns’ defense has reportedly taken a huge injury punch to the gut.
According to Orangebloods.com, starting linebacker Jordan Hicks will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an unspecified injury. The website reported that it’s currently working on nailing down the specifics of the injury, which would’ve occurred during the win over Kansas State yesterday.
Hicks currently leads the Longhorns in tackles with 41 — Steve Edmond and Cedric Reed are tied at No. 2 with 28 each — and is third in tackles for loss.
If the report is accurate — the school has yet to address the development — it would mark the second consecutive season Hicks has seen his season end prematurely.
Hicks missed most of the 2012 season with a groin/hip injury, and was finally ruled out for the year in November after playing in just three games. In July of this year, Hicks was approved for a medical redshirt that gave him an additional year of eligibility, leaving him with two entering this season. As Hicks played in four games this season, he would not qualify for another medical redshirt and sixth season of eligibility.
Hicks’ roller coaster ride the past year-plus hasn’t been confined to on-field injuries as he and backup quarterback Case McCoy were indefinitely suspended in December amidst a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault that occurred in the run-up to UT’s Alamo Bowl appearance.
No charges were ever filed, and both players were reinstated in mid-January.
UPDATED 5:03 p.m. ET: Texas confirmed that Hicks will miss the remainder of the 2013 season after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left leg. Obviously, he will undergo surgery this week to repair the damage.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.