If there’s ever a good time to undergo surgery, late January’s as good as any if you’re a college football player.
After photos surfaced on social media showing Jarrett Stidham wearing a sling as he walked around campus, Auburn confirmed Thursday that the quarterback underwent what it described as “a minor [surgical] procedure” on his left (non-throwing) shoulder at some point this month. It’s unclear at this time whether the issue that needed cleaned up surgically came from an in-season injury or one that surfaced after the season ended.
According to a statement from the football program, head coach Gus Malzahn “expects [Stidham] to participate in spring practice,” which will kick off the month after next.
A transfer from Baylor, Stidham started every game under center for the SEC West champion Tigers. Stidham threw for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, becoming just the second AU quarterback to throw for 3,000-plus yards in a single season. The first? Dameyune Craig back in 1997.
Citing what he called “unfinished business,” Stidham, a redshirt sophomore, announced earlier this month that he would be eschewing the NFL draft and returning to The Plains for at least one more season. Heading into the 2018 season, Stidham will likely be one of a handful of Heisman Trophy contenders.