Sophomore defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan will miss the remainder of spring drills with a "slightly" torn meniscus and a partially torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed the injury following FSU's practice on Monday evening.
The injury will sideline Jernigan for 4 to 6 weeks. Fisher called the injury, which happened during Saturday's practice, a "freak thing" as Jernigan's leg was rolled up on from behind by a teammate.
"It was relieving (that the injury wasn't more serious)," Fisher said. "After I saw it on film, I didn't feel as bad. Somebody fell from behind ... the guy fell on the back of (his leg) and (Jernigan) gave with it, which was very good. ... we were lucky."
On Sunday, Jernigan, a Lake City, Fla. native, uploaded a photo of his knee in a bulky brace to a social media site, which began speculation on the severity of the injury or if the injury involved the anterior crucial ligament, which would require a much longer recovery time.
According to Dr. Josh Hackel, the head of primary sports medicine at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fla., a torn ACL has a 5 to 8-month recovery time while a torn MCL takes anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks based on the severity of the tear.
"Thank God it wasn't as bad, and unfortunately as we found out last year, injuries are part of football," Fisher said. "That's what happens out here."
Fisher was very optimistic about a full and seamless recovery, saying that Jernigan is expected to be ready for fall practice.
Despite not making a start as a true freshman in 2011, Jernigan was a key part of the team's defensive tackle rotation, leading the unit in tackles (30) and sacks (2.5). Jernigan was rated the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation in the Class of 2011 by Rivals.com.
Jernigan joins fellow defensive linemen Bjoern Werner (shoulder) and Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle) who are both out for the spring.