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LSU’s trainer says Zach Mettenberger’s back “shouldn’t be a big deal”

Zach Mettenberger AP

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger tore his ACL at LSU last season, but that appears to be only one of the health concerns that NFL teams might have when considering drafting him later this week.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Mettenberger was “red-flagged” by several teams because of a back condition. Mettenberger reportedly has Spondylolysis, a defect in one of the vertebrae that can lead to stress fractures. The condition is being treated non-surgically at present and LSU’s trainer Jack Marucci says that it wasn’t been a problem for Mettenberger last season.

“Did it flare up in his career? Yes. We would treat it and he’d be fine,” Marucci said. “It wasn’t something we thought was a chronic disc or something. He doesn’t need surgery. There’s no surgery for it. He’s worked with our doctors. This shouldn’t be a big deal as long as you treat it, we did some core stabilization. His senior year, we didn’t even talk about it.”

Marucci added that the back became less of a problem after offensive coordinator Cam Cameron worked with Mettenberger on his mechanics so that he put less strain on his back when throwing the ball. All in all, it doesn’t seem like a reason for major alarm but it might not need to be if a team is choosing between Mettenberger and one of the other quarterbacks expected to come off the board on the second day of the draft.

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10 Responses to “LSU’s trainer says Zach Mettenberger’s back “shouldn’t be a big deal””
  1. bornahawker says: May 7, 2014 9:20 AM

    Loll for Zachary in the sixth or seventh. Hope he attained his degree while at the LSU sports factory.

  2. Remember Brian Brohm says: May 7, 2014 10:05 AM

    This guy has more red flags than a golf course, but I bet he winds up being pretty good. He’ll probably last at least to the third round and some team will get a steal.

  3. uglydingo says: May 7, 2014 10:16 AM

    His back mightn’t be a big deal but the failed drug test at the Combine might reflect on his intelligence and character.

  4. infrno says: May 7, 2014 10:23 AM

    The “failed” drug test showed no trace of drugs, it was just a diluted sample that his doctor has verified was due to his rehab instructions to drink at least 1.5 gallons of water per day. He’ll go in the second round and 10 years from now will have had a better career than any other QB in this draft.

  5. granadafan says: May 7, 2014 11:13 AM

    Nothing a little HGH can’t cure. As to the “failed” drug test showing no trace of drugs, no wonder it was flagged. Known cheaters drink abnormal amounts of water to beat tests, way more than what his TRAINER (not his doctor) claimed.

  6. mutantman87 says: May 7, 2014 11:52 AM

    Due to the numerous red flags (plead guilty to sexual battery and kicked off team at UGA, possible drug test shenanigans, potential back issues, one knee weakened from ACL tear), I would not take him in the first two rounds, where you should get an immediate contributor. For someone who is looking more like a bit of a gamble but has definite upside, I would say round 3 or 4 is more appropriate. Then I’d have a potential franchise QB in the wings but still have drafted a couple talented starters at other positions.

  7. infrno says: May 7, 2014 12:04 PM

    Actually it was on his DOCTOR’S orders (see I have a shift button too). They flag every test with a dilute sample as a matter of policy. Zach had his issues at Georgia but he’s not been in any sort of trouble for years and certainly has never once been accused of cheating.

    “Mettenberger’s agents Joe Linta and Seth Katz told Fox Sports that the diluted sample was caused by extra water the quarterback drank because of his doctor’s advice. Mettenberger had suffered cramps while rehabilitating his torn anterior cruciate ligament, Fox Sports reported.”

  8. aldavis4president says: May 7, 2014 12:36 PM

    He Dsnt get a break. If jaimes Winston is the root of all evil on this website by its commenters and writers, than Zach is to be held to the same standard. A diluted urine same is a diluted urine sample. A sexual assault case is a serious matter. I wanted him for the raiders as 3rd/4th rounder. But he seems to much like a spoiled little punk like that manziel kid, who have been handed everything their whole lives. Good thing I also think Boyd and garapollo are going to be good to.

  9. fmc651 says: May 7, 2014 1:33 PM

    Sexual assault charges in Georgia, now this.Is he that dumb?

  10. infrno says: May 7, 2014 1:40 PM

    LOL, the sexual assault was him being a stupid jock and grabbing a chick’s boobs and butt at a bar. Way overkill even though he should have had some sort of punishment. He’s been out of trouble ever since and according to his doctor has a legit reason for this test result, there isn’t any evidence of actual drug use. The injury to his ACL is the only reason he’s not the projected #2 QB in this class behind Manziel and is the only reason he isn’t a first round pick. He’s entirely too talented at the most important position on the team for him to last beyond the second round and this diluted sample thing isn’t going to make one whit of difference. Now, the back issue might, but even that’s unlikely.

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