IOWA CITY — It was a beautiful day for a walk Tuesday in Iowa City. Good thing it was, too, because it took a couple of Hawkeyes with ACL injuries a little longer to make their way to practice.
Iowa running back Barkley Hill is the headliner. He suffered a torn ACL Aug. 18 and is out for the season. It was big news because Iowa is thin at running back. Tuesday, Hill had his left leg heavily wrapped and he was still on crutches. Also, safety Ruben Lile limped into the Hawkeyes football complex. He tore his ACL early in camp.
In the spring, sophomore running back Jordan Canzeri tore an ACL practicing at Kinnick Stadium. Last November, defensive end Dominic Alvis suffered the same injury simply running down field on a “punt safe.” Former Iowa running back Jewel Hampton suffered two torn ACLs during his two seasons at Iowa, with one coming on a grass field at Arizona.
Looking for a commonality? Stop.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz brought up some iPad reading he’s done lately. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently said FieldTurf should be banned from football, saying players can’t get their feet off the surface. Conversely, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher prefers FieldTurf over natural because it allows fast teams to play fast.
“I think a lot of it is just luck and fate,” Ferentz said. “I really believe that.”
Three Iowa running backs suffered torn ACLs in 2004.
“How would you like to be a woman’s basketball coach?” Ferentz said. “They happen in all sports. A lot of them are non-contact, some are contact. Our medical staff is pretty good. If there was anything to be deducted, they’d lead the charge.”
The ACL thing was an active topic during Ferentz’s Tuesday news conference. No major discoveries were uncovered.
“If you learn something, let me know,” Ferentz said. “Please, don’t keep it a secret. I don’t any of you will, but please don’t keep it a secret.”