Hendon Hooker injury: Tennessee’s star QB will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in a loss to South Carolina

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SATISFACTION

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL tear in his left knee midway through the fourth quarter for the No. 5 Volunteers. 63-38 loss on the highway to South Carolina on Saturday. Tennessee announced the extent of the injury on Sunday afternoon, ending a potential All-America season.

The Heisman Trophy contender kept the ball on a zone read and went down with a non-contact injury to his left knee as he tried to drive through a hole for yardage. He fell to the ground in obvious pain and limped off the field to the injury shop. The play was reviewed and ruled a fumble after Hooker was initially ruled out. Hooker finally made his way to the locker room under his own power when backup Joe Milton entered the game in his place.

Hooker has been the MVP of Tennessee’s dream season. The senior recorded 3,135 passing yards, 430 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns with just two interceptions for the Volunteers’ high-powered offense. Hooker threw five touchdowns in Tennessee’s first upset win over then-No. 1 Alabama since the year before Nick Saban took over in 2006.

The senior transferred to Tennessee from Virginia Tech prior to last season and took over as their quarterback after Week 2 of the 2021 season. He threw for 2,945 yards, 31 touchdowns and three interceptions last season while adding 613 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

disappointing ending

Hooker put together one of the best seasons by a quarterback in Tennessee history. In just 11 games, Hooker ranks No. 5 in program history for passing yards in a season and has two of the top five total touchdown seasons in program history, joining names like Peyton Manning and Josh Dobbs.

Hooker will still have a chance to win a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist for his efforts. Unfortunately, missing the regular season finale and missing championship weekend will likely hurt his chances. The Volunteers won’t be the same with Joe Milton III in the lineup instead of Hooker Saturday vs. Vanderbilt.

NFL draft

More than his college football career, Hooker’s unfortunate injury has the chance to derail the start of his NFL career. Hooker has already been dragged down by his age, as he will be 25 by the time of the 2023 NFL Draft. With such a far-reaching injury, Hooker could be out of it for his entire first season in the league. .

CBS Sports ryan wilson qualifies Hooker as a Day 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it’s unclear how much his inability to train for teams could limit his advantage during the process. However, his 944 career pass attempts and winning work ethic should still give him a shot at the next level.

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