The timeline for the return of Florida State’s most talented defensive player has been expanded — and goes a long way in framing his head coach’s initial reaction.
Derwin James sustained what was later determined to be a torn meniscus in the Week 2 win over FCS Charleston Southern and underwent surgery to repair the damage. Initially, the prognosis was that the star defensive back could return in as early as two weeks.
Unfortunately, the nature of the surgery that was performed has pushed the timeline for a return out as long as two months.
“Yeah, they sewed it, so it will be a little longer,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said in quotes distributed by the team when asked about James’ surgery. “I don’t know — you’re talking five, six, seven weeks or so at least, then how it heals but they sewed it, which is really good for him because that means they saved every inch of the cartilage, which is really good.”
At the short end, James will miss this weekend’s huge ACC matchup with Louisville, as well as games against USF (Sept. 24), North Carolina (Oct. 1), Miami (Oct. 8) and Wake Forest (Oct. 15). FSU will be on a bye the weekend of Oct. 22, with their annual date against Clemson looming Oct. 29 — in the neighborhood of the seven-week mark mentioned by Fisher.
As a true freshman, James’ 91 tackles were second only to Reggie Northrup’s 94. He was also second on the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (4.5).
For that, he was named a consensus freshman All-American and third-team All-ACC. This offseason, he was named to the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award watch lists, and is widely considered one of the best players on the defensive side of the ball in the country.