Bryce Love tore his ACL in Stanford’s final game of the regular season — and it could hurt his chances of being selected in the first or second round of next week’s NFL Draft.
Love underwent a medical recheck ahead of the draft, which revealed stiffness in his knee. According to NFL Network, which cited unidentified sources, the condition is raising red flags with NFL teams. Executives are worried Love won’t be able to regain his full power, and if he does, there’s concern it will take him a significant amount of time to get back to 100 percent.
“There is a specific condition that people have seen before, there is medical literature on it, of that stiffness around the ACL,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero explained on “Up To The Minute Live.” “There are different ways you can treat it, potentially another surgery, it would be up to whatever team drafts Bryce Love to figure out what the procedure is going forward to make sure that he’s on track.”
Another medical issue in the draft: Stanford RB Bryce Love’s stiff knee have raised red flags for NFL teams about regaining his movement and explosiveness after ACL reconstruction. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/Iy0pSyXKW5
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 19, 2019
NFL Network reported the condition won’t make him undraftable, but he will likely go in Rounds 4-7 due to the lingering effects of the injury.
Love announced in January that he tore his ACL against Utah on Dec. 6 and that he underwent surgery Dec. 18 on his right knee. He did not play in Stanford’s Sun Bowl victory over Pittsburgh on Dec. 31 because he wanted to “focus on being completely healthy and prepared” for the draft.
“Obviously, there’s no such thing as an ideal injury, but I’m on the path to recovery, and my goal remains the same — getting drafted by an NFL team and being the ultimate professional,” Love told Yahoo Sports in January. “I’ll be back better than I’ve ever been.”
After rushing for 2,118 yards in his junior season, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy race behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield in 2017.
Love returned for his senior year to be with his teammates and because he wanted to finish his undergraduate degree with the hopes of becoming a pediatrician after his professional football career ends, Yahoo Sports notes. He finished his senior season with just 739 total yards as his yards per carry dropped from 8.1 to 4.5.