Illinois Football Star Suffered “Severe” Spinal Injury While Swimming

first_imgA closeup of Illinois football coach Lovie Smith.MADISON, WI – NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Illinois Fighting Illini watches his team prior to a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Illinois’ football program suffered some terrible injury news over the weekend. Star defensive end Bobby Roundtree’s season, and possibly his entire career, is now in jeopardy.According to Jeremy Werner of 247Sports, Roundtree was forced to undergo surgery on Sunday due to a spinal injury. The injury reportedly occurred during a “swimming incident” in Tampa over the weekend.Roundtree led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last year – both career highs. He was the only player on the team to boast multiple sacks in 2018.Per the report, the injury is considered “severe,” which could mean any number of things. Roundtree was only a three-star prospect coming out of high school in 2017, but quickly established himself as a starter for Lovie Smith. He played in all 12 games as a freshman and had a team-best 4.0 sacks that year.Tough news to report: #illini star DE Bobby Roundtree had surgery on Sunday for a severe spinal injury suffered during a swimming incident in Tampa on SaturdayInjury is considered “severe” per Illinoishttps://t.co/IZ1zoCI5Rh— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) May 20, 2019Illinois head coach Lovie Smith visited Roundtree and released a statement asking that he be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.#illini Lovie: “This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) May 20, 2019The Illini have not been bowl eligible since 2014 but are bringing in a solid recruiting class this year that includes a handful of talented transfer athletes.last_img

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