With just a day to go before the 2014 NFL Draft, now is probably the worst possible time for news to come out that a prospect is struggling with an injury.
And that is exactly the bad piece of luck that has befallen former LSU star quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
The play caller would have been a sure-fire first round pick if not for the ACL tear that he sustained on the last day of the regular season in his senior year. The Georgia native fought back from surgery and impressed a lot of teams with his recovery and rehab, so much so that he moved up a lot of draft boards.
But according to Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network, Mettenberger is also suffering with a spine related condition.
The NFL insider tweeted earlier, "Sources: #LSU QB Zach Mettenberger's back was red-flagged by several teams prior to #NFLDraft. He has Spondylolysis, treated non-surgically"
The biggest worry about Spondylolysis - basically stress fractures in the vertebrae which cause them to move out of place - is that the injury, while it can be hereditary, is caused by repeated trauma to the spine.
As you can imagine, this gives a lot of worry to a team that were thinking about spending a pick on the 6ft 5in play-caller. If he has already taken numerous hits that have caused damage already, then how much more can he take in the NFL, which is much more physical and demanding than college ball.