LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger has a torn ACL in his left knee, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Caplan. Mettenberger had to be helped off the field after he was hit by Arkansas defensive tackle Bryan Jones in the fourth quarter of a 31-27 victory over the Razorbacks last Friday. The school would not diclose the specifics of his injury, but confirmed on Wednesday that Mettenberger will not be available for the Tigers' (9-3, 5-3 SEC) bowl game.
Freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings, who replaced Mettenberger against Arkansas and engineered the Tigers' game-winning 99-yard touchdown drive, will start in his place.
From the release:
“We are very disappointed for Zach,” Miles said on Wednesday. “He’s been a tremendous leader for our team and he’s as competitive a guy as I have ever been around. He’s had a great impact on our program.
“I know Zach will work extremely hard to rehabilitate his knee and I don’t anticipate this injury having any impact on what should be a great future in the NFL.”
Before going down with an injury, Mettenberger had passed for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2013. He is just the third Tigers' passer to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season, joining Rohan Davey (3,347 in '01) and JaMarcus Russell (3,129 in '06).
For Mettenberger, the ACL tear not only ends his college career, but also places his 2014 NFL draft stock in jeopardy. He was projected seventh overall in SI.com's Chris Burke's Mock Draft on Tuesday, before the extent of his injury was publicly known. One source told ESPN that Mettenberger is expected to have surgery "in about two weeks."