Eagles Notebook: Oklahoma cornerback suffers ACL tear

Posted: January 24, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. - Oklahoma corner Aaron Colvin crumpled at the end of a one-on-one passing drill in Tuesday afternoon's South team Senior Bowl practice. In the stands, Colvin's agent, Ken Sarnoff, immediately feared the worst.

Sarnoff worked his way down to the field, where an orthopedist on hand already was manipulating Colvin's right knee. It felt loose.

Quickly, Colvin was loaded into a car for transport to an MRI clinic. Sarnoff jumped into his rental car and the caravan sped off.

"It's the most devastating thing I've experienced in 16 years in the business," Sarnoff said yesterday from Pensacola, Fla., where he accompanied Colvin to the clinic of famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews. "[Colvin] was hysterical. It was very, very ugly."

Colvin had been "killing it," as Sarnoff put it, during the first 2 days of practice. We're early in the evaluation process, but Colvin probably entered the week as a second- or third-rounder, and was moving up. Sarnoff notes that ESPN's Mel Kiper recently rated Colvin the draft's No. 4 corner, and last year the fourth corner went late in the first round.

"This kid was going to blow the combine up," Sarnoff said.

Now, nobody knows where Colvin will be drafted. This sort of injury during draft preparation isn't unheard of, but it is rare, and prospects shudder to think of it happening. Typically, they take out disability insurance, the kind that would pay them if they never played pro football.

"But disability isn't slipping from the second to the fourth round," Sarnoff said.

There is no insurance for draft position, and since Colvin's injury is a relatively simple ACL tear, he very likely will play in the NFL, at some point.

Sarnoff began filling out forms yesterday using Colvin's family medical insurance information, but Senior Bowl officials quickly made sure he knew this would go on their insurance - the surgery and everything. That might seem basic, but agents say that over the years it hasn't been a given at all-star events.

"The Senior Bowl has been excellent" in the wake of the injury, Sarnoff said, particularly executive director Phil Savage and assistant Lauren Taylor.

From the MRI clinic, Sarnoff took Colvin back to his hotel, fetched him dinner from Wendy's, and gave him some time to come to grips with this detour in his path to pro football.

Last night, Colvin posted a statement on Twitter.

"As many of you know, I did catch a very unfortunate break today," Colvin said. "No, I don't know why it happened to me, but it did, and I know there's a special reason for it. I can sit here and cry about it or I can move forward and work my butt off to still make it happen, which I will."

Colvin went on to assert that with God's help, "I will come back bigger, stronger and faster."

At 6 a.m. yesterday, Sarnoff picked up Colvin to drive to Pensacola, which took a little more than an hour. Andrews had made room for an 8 a.m. consultation. Surgery was scheduled for either next Tuesday or Thursday, depending on how quickly the swelling in Colvin's knee recedes.

Sarnoff said Colvin's spirits were lifted when he found himself sitting on a row of examining tables that included Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.

"You know you're in the right place," Sarnoff said.

By yesterday, the world looked better to Colvin, said Sarnoff, who was starting to construct his draft arguments for teams.

"How many rookie corners come in and start right away anyway?" he asked. Corner is a tough position to master; drafting Colvin this year and letting him watch and learn for a season wouldn't be such a terrible scenario for a good team that wasn't looking for an immediate starter, he said.

This could just end up being a sort of redshirt year, and not the end of a dream, Sarnoff said.

The Eagles still haven't made official the pending hire of Bill Musgrave as quarterbacks coach . . . An NFL coach (not on the Eagles' staff) discussing Chip Kelly and Nick Foles and the whole mobile quarterback issue, was adamant that Foles' attributes more than make up for his deficiencies. "In the fourth quarter of a close game, who would you rather have throwing the ball, Nick Foles or Colin Kaepernick?" the coach asked. He said he would choose Foles. The implication was that the NFL game still is, and always will be, mostly about what you can do with your arm (and head).

On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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