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.