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“I’m very grateful to Dr. Andrews and his team for making the surgery a seamless process,” Love said in a statement to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. “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. I’ll be back better than I’ve ever been.”
Thamel noted Love underwent the surgery on Dec. 18 with Dr. James Andrews but will attend February’s NFL Scouting Combine even though he will be limited in what he can do.
There is no official return date yet, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com added more context by saying, “The timeline would give Bryce Love a chance to be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season. But clearly, a difficult reality for one of the top backs.”
Love was a dominant playmaker during the 2017 season and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-American and the Doak Walker Award winner as nation’s best running back. He also finished second in Heisman Trophy voting behind Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
He tallied 2,118 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns while helping lead Stanford to a Pac-12 North title and Alamo Bowl appearance.
While he was expected to once again be one of college football’s top players when he elected to return to school for the 2018 campaign, he finished with just 739 rushing yards and saw his yards per carry total dip from 8.1 in 2017 to 4.5. It should be noted at least some of the blame could go toward an offensive line that suffered multiple injuries.
Despite an up-and-down senior season, Love was still the No. 7 running back prospect on Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller’s most recent big board. Miller also listed him as having the best speed of all the prospects at his position.
It is fair to worry about Love’s speed and availability after this significant knee injury, although he does have the entire offseason to recover following a mid-December surgery as he prepares for the next step of his football career.