It happens seemingly every year. Top prospects suffer injuries in action, placing themselves into difficult decisions. Come out and risk it? Go back to school? It's now happened to Ohio State DE Nick Bosa. Some of the questions he's likely asking himself to some degree:
"Should I come back and prove I'm healthy no matter what?" ... "How much have I cost myself with this injury?"
The football gods have been cruel in the past, striking down the likes of Todd Gurley (Torn ACL in November 2014), Myles Jack (Knee injury in September 2015), Jaylon Smith (Torn ACL in January 2016). And that's just in recent memory.
It is the most unfortunate side of the college game, where players potentially cost themselves dearly before they're able to make it to the big leagues. But for Nick Bosa, fear not. This isn't quite like the situation that faced some current pros and now faces current Washington Huskies offensive tackle Trey Adams.
Adams was considered a potential first round pick entering the season. That status came despite a torn ACL last October. And then came the back injury earlier this month, which will ultimately cost Adams his entire 2018 as well. Now Adams faces durability questions and entering the 2019 Draft would result in teams guessing not just on his health but also on his play. Can a 6-foot-8 offensive tackle still play on a repaired knee and a repaired back? What does his technique look like after the injuries?
Teams don't know.
In the case of Bosa, Nick entered 2018 playing three games at the same elite level he'd shown for two prior seasons with the Buckeyes. No, Bosa's injury has not been specified. What we do know is this: Bosa's father told The Athletic that Nick had "major surgery" and will not be reevaluated until November.
Whether we see Bosa the rest of the way or not is inconsequential. HIs film is strong and his production is consistent. We can surmise the surgery was done now with the intent that Nick will be evaluated in 6-8 weeks to gauge his fitness and recovery. Once cleared, Nick can decide to play or sit. Barring major setbacks, Nick will be 100% by the end of the year, which is when training begins for the biggest job expo in sports: The NFL Combine.
Would it be reassuring to see Nick Bosa back on a football field to play Michigan at the end of November and in the Big Ten Championship Game? Of course. Would Nick be at his best? Probably not, given the rehab time for whatever his injury is.
We've seen the best that Nick Bosa has to offer. He's a dominating presence up front and built like a prototypical NFL defensive end. The NFL has shown they aren't afraid to invest in prototypical players and special athletes, even with some red tape.
Todd Gurley's ACL tear was 5 months old when the Draft rolled around. The Rams selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. There was speculation on whether or not Jaylon Smith could ever play football again. Dallas drafted Smith 34th overall.
Bosa's abdominal injury puts his status for the remainder of the 2018 college season in doubt. It doesn't change a damn thing about his pro prospects or draft projection.